NOTE: Hurricane Isaac made landfall in southeast Louisiana on August 28. Many areas, especially those outside of the city of New Orleans were affected by this storm. The state of Louisiana is divided into parishes, much like counties found in other states. St. John the Baptist Parish is approximately 30 miles from the New Orleans area. Madison Roussel, our MissionLab Administrative Assistant, is from this area originally, and she explains a bit about Isaac’s impact below.
To say the least, St. John the Baptist Parish has suffered some unfortunate events in the recent weeks. In mid-August, the small community of Laplace was rocked by a series of shootings that left two sheriff’s deputies dead, and two other deputies seriously wounded and hospitalized. Just a week after laying their heroes to rest, residents were faced with Hurricane Isaac. Any hurricane ranked less than a Category 3 is considered minor, but Isaac’s impact on St. John Parish was far from minor. On August 29th, water from neighboring Lake Pontchartrain gushed into areas of Laplace, inundating homes, businesses, schools, churches – anything in its path. The tidal surge that parish officials have called “unprecedented” led to the emergency evacuation of multiple neighborhoods. Parish police and fire department crews, local volunteers, and National Guard worked tirelessly to locate and evacuate those trapped by flooding. Fire departments and volunteers from other nearby parishes also joined in the search and rescue efforts in Laplace.
From Wednesday to Thursday, 3,500 residents in St. John Parish were forced to flee their homes (some were even rescued from their attics) in rescue boats as waters continued to rise. Hastily grabbing whatever belongings they could carry, many residents had to leave their homes amid the wind and rain in the height of the storm, uncertain that anything they owned would be salvageable when they returned. Evacuees were later transported by bus to shelters in northern Louisiana. Rescues continued even through Friday as the swollen Lake Maurepas also began flooding more neighborhoods in the Laplace and Reserve areas of St. John Parish. Even days after the Category 1 storm had passed, engorged canals and rivers poured into other places like St. James Parish, while waters still continued to rise in parts of St. John. By Saturday, August 31st, 4,000 of the 6,000 St. John Parish residents rescued from their homes were in shelters in northern Louisiana.
Even though the waters have receded and media coverage has died down, the impact of Hurricane Isaac is still fresh in the minds (and homes) of many Louisiana residents. Recovery efforts remain underway, with streets still lined with piles of debris, carpets, furniture, and memories. So many people have lost everything they own. This “minor” Category 1 hurricane has left an indelible mark on St. John the Baptist Parish and its surrounding communities. While much help has been received since the storm, many needs still remain, and St. John Parish and ALL areas affected by Hurricane Isaac need your prayers more than ever. Here are a few ways you can pray for this area:
- Pray for the families who have lost their belongings.
- Pray for senior adults and those who will need assistance in restoring their homes.
- Pray for everyone who has been affected financially from Isaac.
- Pray for the parish and state leaders.
- Pray that God will be continually glorified through the relief efforts taking place in St. John Parish.
- Pray for the local churches as they continue to minister to those affected by Isaac.
- Pray for the volunteers and organizations assisting with relief efforts in the area.
We greatly appreciate your continued prayers! If you are interested in other ways you can be involved in the relief effort, please contact us at [email protected]