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SBTC DR crews ‘relaunch’ to help Louisiana survivors after Hurricane Delta 

Second hurricane in six weeks hits Bayou State

October 12th, 2020 / By: Jane Rodgers | TEXAN Correspondent / comments

ALEXANDRIA—Hurricane Delta’s predicted landfall along the Louisiana Gulf Coast prompted the suspension of Southern Baptists of Texas Convention Disaster Relief efforts in Louisiana and Southeast Texas on Oct. 7 as volunteers moved equipment to safe locations at First Baptist Kountze in the Golden Triangle area of Texas. 

Teams were not long idle.

SBTC DR units began redeploying to Louisiana on Oct. 11, after Delta struck on Oct. 9 as a category 2 storm with maximum sustained winds of 100 mph at Creole, about 13 miles east of Cameron, where Laura had made landfall as a category 4 hurricane on Aug. 27.

SBTC DR totals for Hurricane Laura as of Oct. 9

  • Total SBTC DR volunteer days served 1,469
  • Total Texas Relief DR volunteer days served 9
  • Total volunteer days served 1,478
  • Total volunteer hours 14,780
  • Meals prepared 94,327
  • Chainsaw jobs completed 349
  • Fire recovery sites completed 1
  • Temporary roofs installed 6
  • Total clean up/recovery sites worked 356
  • Heavy equipment hours 320
  • Showers provided 1,174
  • Laundry loads done 919
  • Bibles distributed 45
  • Tracts distributed 176
  • Gospel presentations 121
  • Prayer 520
  • Professions of faith 9
  • Total spiritual contacts 871

“Today [Oct. 9], we have no one in the field. That is about to change,” SBTC DR Director Scottie Stice told the TEXAN between conference calls with emergency management and disaster relief personnel organizing the response to Delta, a rare moment of calm before yet another storm.

In the wake of Hurricane Laura, SBTC DR mass care feeding units and quick response (QRU) kitchens and teams served in cooperation with Salvation Army feeding crews in Southeast Texas and Louisiana. 

Multiple SBTC DR recovery and shower/laundry teams deployed to areas affected by Laura, joining Southern Baptist Disaster Relief crews from other states. While efforts paused in advance of Delta, Stice confirmed that chainsaw work would resume as soon as possible and continue through Oct. 31.

On Oct. 11, SBTC DR administrative personnel assumed responsibility from Louisiana Baptist DR for ongoing Laura and now Delta recovery operations based out of Alexandria, Louisiana, and headquartered at Philadelphia Baptist Church there. The SBTC DR command post left for Alexandria on Oct. 11, with Wally Leyerle, DR associate, as incident leader.

The SBTC DR incident management team headed by Leyerle is coordinating the efforts of Baptist DR teams from Arkansas, Kentucky and Louisiana as well as SBTC DR crews.

“The hand-off from Louisiana DR to the SBTC has been complicated by Delta,” Stice noted. “We are ready to relaunch after Delta.” 

Meanwhile, SBTC DR mass care feeding and QRU units and crews also deployed to Louisiana Oct. 11, where they are again working with the Salvation Army. The mobile QRUs—similar to food trucks—are stationed in neighborhoods and functioning as canteens for the Salvation Army, while crews manning the larger kitchens are preparing food for mass distribution.

SBTC DR feeding teams will be headquartered at Lake Charles, Stice added.

COVID-19 protocols will continue to be followed on all deployments, Stice said.

Disaster Relief: get trained and give

A Phase I and Phase II training event held Sept. 26 was attended by some 60 men and women who earned new or renewed credentials as Southern Baptist Disaster Relief volunteers, Stice said, noting that free SBTC DR training is also available online at https://sbtexas.com/disaster-relief/phase-1-online-training/. 

If you would like to donate to ongoing SBTC DR efforts in Louisiana and elsewhere, visit https://sbtexas.com/disaster-relief/.