Almost 7 trillion gallons of water dumped down on Louisiana in one week. The U.S. Coast Guard, National Guard, and local emergency responders had to rescue 30,000 people and 1,400 pets. 40,000 homes suffered damage from the water. This catastrophe is the worst natural disaster to occur in the U.S. since Superstorm Sandy five years ago, and people are still recovering from that disaster.
In the wake of these floods, 86,000 people have applied for federal disaster aid. Those trying to assist the displaced and get them out of emergency shelters are already running into massive issues. The normal strategy for disaster relief rehousing is to use rental properties. But because these properties were damaged during the floods, there is a huge housing shortage.
While the National Weather Service had predicted flooding, no one estimated the magnitude of the calamity. Especially in a disaster-prone state like Louisiana, this was beyond residents’ expectations and preparations. In the areas that saw the worst flooding, property-owners are distraught not just because of the damage, but because most owners didn’t pay for flood insurance. The properties aren’t in the normal flood plane, and are at a high enough elevation to where this type of insurance isn’t generally considered.
The governor of Louisiana is calling on aid organizations and individuals to volunteer in Louisiana. The mud will need to be removed from the houses as the water recedes. Louisianans are in over their heads, and can’t do it on their own. Charity Navigator names main aid organizations that provide domestic relief in the U.S. after natural disasters. Along with the Red Cross, the United Way of Southeast Louisiana, Direct Relief, and Convoy of Hope are the four main organizations handling relief. While some were lucky and only sustained slight damage, many Americans are left without a roof over their heads. They will be reliant on the help of fellow Americans for weeks to come.