August 18, 2016
This morning we began daily check-in calls with our Baton Rouge and Lafayette pastors on the ground and our Disaster Team. Here’s what we know:
- Twelve dead; fourteen arrested for looting. Thirty thousand rescued and 40,000 homes damaged or destroyed. Authorities have instituted a curfew from 10:00 pm to 6:00 am. There is still water in South Baton Rouge, which will remain there until it is pumped out.
- Our congregations, Our Saviour and St. Paul in Baton Rouge and First in Lafayette, and their pastors are all high and dry. St. Paul has 7-8 families flooded. Our Saviour has 14 families who have lost everything. First has 12 families flooded. The congregations are helping their families and also looking to their neighborhoods.
- St. Paul and First Christian Church are partnering right now to house and feed Red Cross workers. First is offering gift cards. The Synod Disaster Fund will be available to help support gift cards and possibly a shower house for First, as they host work groups.
- They are not ready for volunteers yet, but soon. The number one need will be volunteers to help muck out. We will be organizing some groups to participate in mucking out days. No firms plans yet, but soon. We are considering August 27 and Labor Day weekend.
Bishop Michael Rinehart