Areas Affected by Hurricane Ida Receive Relief Support


Emmanuel Omorogbe and the Helping Hands, Photo Courtesy of The Parkview Pantera

Members of our community are going out to Louisanna throughout September 2021 to assist with emergency relief after the recent hurricane Ida.

Hurricane Ida lasted from August 26 to September 4, 2021, and during this time it was a devastating category four hurricane that is compared to the havoc inflicted by Hurricane Katrina that hit in 2005. The storms caused major flooding and many to lose power in their homes or lost their homes entirely.

The cities have been overwhelmed by a large amount of infrastructure damage and the need for emergency services to help their citizens. Thus various organizations have provided additional assistance in the form of food, water, and volunteers.

In particular, the Helping Hands, organized by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, are going down to three cities along the Louisiana coastline, Slidell, Hammond, and Gonzales. They have set up temporary bases of operations to organize and direct the volunteers with relief efforts. 

Abbi Omorogbe, a freshman at Parkview, was one of these volunteers with the Helping Hands organization. She describes what she saw in Slidell this past weekend, “Buildings have fallen apart, they rusted. Some fast food places have closed. Trees have fallen on top of houses, buildings. Roofs have been gone. People have holes in their roofs… Houses have been emptied. People cutting down trees so they don’t [do more damage].”

Many have been providing their services in cleaning up the homes and properties of the individuals who were impacted. They have been cutting up trees that have fallen, mucking out houses that have flooded, and doing repair work on roofs.

“It feels like the right thing to do. And it’s just really helpful when you are helping someone who might not get the work they need done,” Emmanuel Omorogbe, a junior as well as Abbi’s brother, comments on why he volunteered,“It is just really nice to be a part of that and being a part of a relief team, and being there for people.”

People’s response to the support is very positive and many are trying to show their gratitude as much as they can. An example of such is The Robert Worship Center who posted a sign along the road that stated, “Thank You Disaster Relief Teams, God Bless You.” 

After seeing such appreciation, Emmanuel Omorogbe expressed his opinion with the comment, “It’s just a weekend, that’s just a minimal amount of time in my life that I can give to serving someone and being a big help in their life.” 

Many hurricanes are hitting at this time and many volunteers will be needed to assist.

Organizations like the Helping Hands provide the structure and opportunity for anyone 14 and up to volunteer. Other than going out themselves, students and other members of the community could give monetary donations to different charities that are providing their services.

Abbi Omorogbe stated that she will be coming again to help out whenever possible with the comment, “I am glad I came, that’s all.”