SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) — Southwest Louisiana is still cleaning up after Hurricane Laura. Some areas still do not have running water and most won’t have their power restored until the end of the month.
Hundreds of ArkLaTex residents have been aiding our neighbors to the south, with some even going down to the area to help. Officials say while it’s the Louisiana way to help during a time of need, they want to caution everyone to stay safe amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We know in Louisiana we like to help each other," Dr. Martha Whyte, the Region 7 Medical Director said. "You know we are known for that and in disasters we really pull together and that’s the great thing about this state. But right now they seem to be forgetting about COVID and Lake Charles and the area around it and in New Orleans, they were hot spots for COVID. So all those people going in are potentially at risk.”
While we are having a very active hurricane season, we are also dealing with the coronavirus pandemic, making preparations and evacuations very different this year.
For evacuees, many were put in government-paid hotel rooms since officials didn’t want to open mass shelters and risk the spread of COVID-19.
“We have medical staff there monitoring them," Dr. Whyte said. "They can call if they have symptoms and get a rapid test in their rooms.”
As many have gone down to Southwest Louisiana to assist in cleanup efforts, Dr. Martha Whyte says that risk of spreading COVID-19 is still there.
“We want to make sure people remember COVID is still here," Dr. Whyte said. "We still have a high incident rate, so we need to wear our masks and social distance. I think we are such a generous community and I encourage people to continue volunteering and donating, just make sure to protect yourself while you do it.”
There are several ways you can help our Southwest Louisiana neighbors.
Partners with Southfield School, Loyola Prep, LSU Health and LSU Shreveport are working together to collect donations at their locations.
If you would like to help, supplies can be donated at the following places before the truck departs Southfield on Sept. 18:
- Loyola Prep: Sept. 11 at 3 p.m.
- LSU Health ‘BRI’ curb: Sept. 11 at 3 p.m. or Sept. 15 at 6 p.m.
- LSU Shreveport Heritage Center: Sept. 16 at 8 a.m. or Sept. 17 at 6 p.m.
Word of God Ministries is partnering with ‘Blessed to Bless’ to deliver urgently needed supplies to those recovering from Hurricane Laura in South Louisiana.
Donations will be accepted from Sept. 10 through 6 p.m. on Sept. 18, at WOGM’s Shreveport campus (6645 W Bert Kouns Industrial Loop).
Donors are asked to drive to the rear of the facility and look for the donation area under the vehicle storage shed.
Items that will be accepted include:
- denture cleanser
- charcoal/lighter fluid
- ant killer (granules)
- mosquito repellent
- laundry detergent (small bottles)
- dishwashing liquid (small bottles)
- sports drinks (Gatorade or Powerade)
- nutritional drinks (Boost, Muscle Milk, etc.)
- nutritional bars (Nutri-grain, Cliff Bars, etc.)
- dog/cat food