Local clean up crews head to Louisana to help Hurricane Ida victims

WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — Hurricane Ida tore through much of southeast Louisiana in the past 24 hours, leaving many without a home, power or food.

And as those residents try to pick up the pieces, they’ll be getting some help from the American Red Cross as well as a local Wichita Falls business.

With a path of destruction left behind from Hurricane Ida, Robyn Flores, Executive Director of the American Red Cross Texas Big Country Chapter, says you’re truly never prepared for these kinds of disasters.

“So 120 hours before Hurricane Ida was expected to make landfall we were already working behind the scenes as volunteers and staff to make sure that everyone was in place when it hit. Sending over 700 volunteers to Louisiana, armed with supplies,” Flores said.

Service Master Owner Michael Albert, who has been going out to help after natural disasters for decades, says it’s never an easy sight to see.

“For the first couple weeks, it’s more of just a shock. Most your local residents are just in shock and disbelief even if they’ve been through this before. Everyone is different, there is a large amount of gratitude that you see in people especially when you’re able to help them,” Albert said.

Right now crews from both organizations are headed to Louisiana to maximize clean-up efforts but for those who still want to help they still can.

“There are some different ways that folks here can help out. One if they’re interested in volunteering, we always need volunteers,” Flores said.

Albert says he hopes everyone who is able to help, will help.

“Just the desperation. When you roll into town you’re fresh, you have not just went through a storm, you see the desperation on a lot of people’s faces and it touches you quite a bit. You’re rolling into an area that has not had electricity for 24 hours, because of that you no longer have running water so there aren’t any places to go to the bathroom that are sanitary,” Albert said.

But even in dark times, Albert says together we can make a difference for these residents.

“Just to watch our nation come together for these disasters, while they’re unfortunate events it’s very humbling to realize how much we all love each other,” said Albert.

Both teams will spend the next few weeks in Louisiana helping out in any way they can. Find more information on how you can become a volunteer here.

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