Day 17, we've been here since early the first morning and we're going harder than ever. Here's a rundown. We've organized hundreds of volunteers in this last few weeks... and are now running three different operstions. Food, supply and field operations. On the first day, Thursday our founder, Rob Gaudet and DJ Elam and a few other volunteers met at the Lake Charles Civic Center. Standing there, in the shadow of the newly destroyed Calcasieu Tower and watching across the lake, we noticed the PPG plant fire. A giant toxic plum of black and white smoke was floating NE over I-10 from behind the Casino. Our team was the first to report it to the authorities, FEMA called us and asked us to send a video then ordered us to head as far from it as we could get, they used VERBOSE language littered with the F word to emphasize their point!! 🤣 We obeyed and proceeded to scout the city to figure out where we could help. First we stopped to clear trees in front of Barbe Elementary. Next we removed a giant tree blocking a four way stop in a elderly community in SE LC. We started simple and GREW.
Those first 3 days , we met several teams and ended up partnering with another group of guys from PA. Didn't take long for 75 other guys to join us with equipment. The Cajun Navy Ground Force organized every morning, still does, into teams and fired up chain saws and skid steers to clear roads. We staged at Walmart on hwy 171 and started by clearing the entire community of Gooseport in the first 3 days. In those critical first days, we had little cell coverage and no services were available for anyone. We also became a mini Walmart IN the Walmart parking lot right there on hwy 171. The managers at Walmart were AMAZING. They let us requisition items from the store at no charge as we needed things.
For phase two, we expanded operations by starting to serve food from Tia Juanita's Fish Camp after it was offered as a base of operations by the owner.
In the last 2 weeks that we have been at the Fish Camp over 200 volunteers have helped to serve 40,000 meals in our now famous Cajun Navy Car Hop drive through. 🤟💪❤️ We have had to work hard and be extra efficient to keep up with the drive through service. We are trying hard to not block up traffic down Ryan street. Just yesterday we purchased a large gas BBQ cooker that we hope will help.
For phase three we want to combine social media and volunteerism and take citizen-led reporting to a new level. We are seeking 500 volunteers to apply to work 6 hour shifts as a volunteer, then spend 6 hour shifts telling the story of how hurricane Laura decimated the beautiful Cajun communities in the heart of SW Louisiana. If you're a journalist at heart, if you have empathy, if you love people, THIS is your chance to exercise your voice. THIS is a rare opportunity, a once in a lifetime chance to touch many lives. Your voice is badly needed.
Apply to the City With No Lights project at cajunrelief.org.
BTW, we are supported remotely by a citizen-led emergency operations team over 100 volunteers. Keyboard warriors. Speaking frankly, this is HOW we are able to do what we do. For every guy on the ground there are numerous behind the scenes volunteers you don't see in the photos and never will, they don't get the adrenaline rush that comes with the clearing of roads with a chain saw or hugs from those we help. We are writing a blog post this morning to tell the story of our AMAZING REMARKABLE TALENTED citizen EOC. DOZENS of Keyboard warriors at their kitchen tables supporting our operations. WE WOULD NOT EXIST WITHOUT THEM. They connect us, clear road blocks, dispatch teams, find resources, schedule deliveries, recruit and vet volunteers, comfort the elderly on the phone, update our social media, run our Zello channel....they work around the clock and we are grateful for this team AND we need to shout their names from the rooftops and hang banners in their honor. Can we get a 'Go Cajun Navy EOC' in their honor!!! 💪🤟❤️
Support us at CajunRelief.org
Today we are reaching out to you #CajunNavy to help us get a specific set of supplies for those that have home starting to be overrun with mold from water damage.
The people of Louisiana have roots that run deeper than most. For some, their home is not just a place to rest their head. It's where they are raising their family in the same 4 walls that they grew up in. The same 4 walls where their parents, grandparents, and maybe even great grandparents grew up.
So no, it's not "just a house". It's a part of the family history.
Items that are being requested:
➡ Mop/mop bucket
➡ Wash cloths/rags
➡ Cleaning gloves
➡ Mold remover products (such as Zep or Mold Armor)
➡ Scratch free scrubbing sponges
➡ Surface disinfectants
➡ Non-ammonia soap/detergents
➡ N95 masks or respirators
If you are experiencing mold issues use this guide by the CDC : https://www.cdc.gov/mold
𝘿𝙍𝙊𝙋 𝙊𝙁𝙁 𝙇𝙊𝘾𝘼𝙏𝙄𝙊𝙉:
Tia Juanita's Fish Camp - Lake Charles
📮 𝙈𝘼𝙄𝙇𝙄𝙉𝙂 𝘼𝘿𝘿𝙍𝙀𝙎𝙎 📮
Attn: K. Turner
117 Aaron Drive Lafayette, LA. 70508-8100
#StrongerTogether #HurricaneLaura #CajunNavyGroundForce #GoCajunNavy #CityWithNoLights #LouisianaStrong
Update on the city with no light. We have now been here 11 full days, here are our observations.
NIGHTS ARE THE WORST. I CANNOT STRESS THIS ENOUGH. ELDERLY ARE ALONE AND SCARED. ITS WORSE THAN YOU KNOW.
N I G H T S A R E T H E W O R S T (read again)
IT'S VERY DARK
Having been here since 7am the Thursday morning the day after Laura struck, here are some of our observations over the last 11 days.
Elderly people in the outlying communities are struggling immensely, especially after the sun goes down. These individuals, elderly in small towns, need the greatest help. They need regular visits from a capable trustworthy person at least every 2 days. 🙏 They need regular wellness checks with supply deliveries such as ice, food, water and gas for generators. Remember they don't have refrigerators. They need specific supplies badly, things for camping. Things you wouldn't think about, like batteries and flashlights, ice, ice chests, gas cans with fuel, can openers. IT'S VERY VERY DARK AT NIGHT. Tonight we had an elderly woman 70 years old who rushed into our donation center in the heart of downtown Lake Charles, all she wanted was flashlights. These folks HAVE NO POWER. ITS BEEN 11 DAYS. NO HOT WATER. NO STOVE TO COOK ON. NO NETFLIX. NO LAMPS TO READ BY. They are stuck in their homes with no power, it's been 11 days. They can't make their way through their home at night... Many generators are only running portions of homes with little light... their generators are running out of gas. It's humid ugly hot outside. They are so desperate for help, which makes them vulnerable to being preyed upon. They are afraid of being taken advantage of, but because they need help so badly, they acquiesce and pay WAY to much for services.
In the first 3 days after Laura, we cleared an entire community's roads in north Lake Charles, a region called Gooseport. Cajun Navy has run over forty all volunteer 5-10 man teams. We have addressed and closed precisely 265 tree clearing tickets. We've precisely dispatched tons of supplies. We have supplied hotshot teams with large trailers who are bringing supplies into remote communities.
No one is really LIVING in Lake Charles. There's not a mad dash for supplies. Walmart and Sam's are open in the city. Most in Lake Charles are able to go shopping there. Buildings that were lashed by the strong winds and rain have structural damage, individuals living in an apt building location in downtown were told they couldn't move back in for at least 6 months. 1700 miles of the power grid must be rebuilt. Hundreds of towers were damaged or destroyed.
Despite our good results, we have no big backers. Our avg. donation is less than 75$. We haven't been visited by any public officials. We have no major partners. We work 12 hours a day, some of us 20 hours a day. I'm still at it, sleep about 3 hours and get back up at 5:30-6 am every morning.
We are doing this on our own, except for your donations. We are grateful for all of the support you have provided.
To help us. Please show up, volunteer.
Commit to 1 day, 5 days, 15 days, a month.
Prepare to be changed.
We would like to start regular wellness checks. This is a large operation... Which would require a significant change in our operations. We don't have the funding to it, but we are going to try regardless.. I think we will find a way. We can't leave them to their own devices. Help us two ways. Time and Money.
Drop off to us. URGENT
Flashlights, w extra batteries.
Gas cans w fuel.
Support us at cajunrelief.org/donate.
Volunteer at cajunrelief.org
Donations to the Cajun Navy are used to activate local volunteers who help the most vulnerable in their own communities during and after disasters.
We watched the terrible storm winds from the very location we are in right now in Kinder at Grand Casino.
We were reached out to by the Coushata Casino Monday before last and they asked us if we wanted to base here, we've been here a week now.
6 of the dozens and dozens of Cajun Navy volunteers taking a break with Rita's from Jaunita's!
First Rita's in the area.
Here are some photos of a few of the team members who will be serving the public and volunteers 3 meals a day, everyday from 7am-7pm.
Other photos of our volunteers efforts for the last week. Go Cajun Navy!!
The Cajun Navy has been blessed beyond belief with assistance far and wide today. THANK YOU a thousand times over to everyone that has dropped off supplies, coordinated efforts, assisted in debris removal and rescues, or even just sent up some prayers.
At our rally point today we were able to hand out much needed supplies to citizens of Louisiana, provide some hot meals, get a few animals to safety.
The situation in the Southeast Texas and Southwest Louisiana is a dire one. Hundreds of thousands of people are without basic human necessities - food, water, shelter, an escape from the unrelentless heat, medical supplies...and SO much more.
Cleaning and rebuilding is marathon, not a race. It will be MONTHS maybe even a year or more for damage to be fixed. But one thing is for sure, the scars left on our hearts from #HurricaneLaura will last forever.
If you have any interest in assisting the efforts that the Cajun Navy Foundation please consider the following:
👷♀️👷👷♂️BOOTS ON THE GROUND👷♀️👷👷♂️
BOLIVAR PENINSULA FERRY SERVICE: The Texas Department of Transportation has announced that ferry service to/from Bolivar Peninsula will pause at 11:30pm this evening. It is critical that residents of Bolivar Peninsula understand that after 11:30pm, the only evacuation route available will be heading east on Hwy 87 towards the center of the storm. Residents should take action now and evacuate while they can.
STORM TRACK UPDATE: There is still uncertainty with the models being projected as to the exact track Hurricane Laura will follow. Hurricane Laura is projected to turn into a Category 3 Hurricane. Galveston County residents need to be prepared for the potential of this storm shifting further west and creating life-threatening storm surge and winds.
EVACUATION ORDERS: The window to prepare and evacuate is starting to shrink. By the time we receive a forecast with a more accurate track, residents may be limited in their options. Voluntary and Mandatory Evacuation Orders have been issued because officials believe that due to potential impacts of this storm, it may be too dangerous to provide emergency services and rescue operations for residents in those areas. If it's dangerous for you, it's dangerous for first responders. We are urging residents to heed the advice of local city and county officials and take the warnings and orders seriously.
AREAS UNDER MANDATORY EVACUATIONS:
- Bolivar Peninsula
- Clear Lake Shores
- Jamaica Beach
- La Marque (only for areas outside the levy system)
- Tiki Island
AREAS UNDER VOLUNTARY EVACUATIONS:
- Bayou Vista
- La Marque (for areas within the levy system)
- League City
- San Leon
STAY INFORMED: We are urging residents to continue following only official social media and news channels to receive updates to monitor this situation. Follow Galveston County, Texas or US National Weather Service Houston-Galveston Texas
Lord’s Supper This Sunday
This Sunday, during worship, we will be observing the
Lord’s Supper. Communion is a special time for our church.
Jesus on the night before He was crucified instituted the
Lord’s Supper. Our church celebrates it four times a year on
fifth Sundays. Some churches take Communion every week,
and it certainly is important enough to do it that often. Most
Baptist churches observe the Lord’s Supper once a quarter
so that it does not become routine. Paul emphasizes that
partaking of the Lord’s Supper is not to be entered into lightly.
I ask that you come spiritually prepared for this impactful time
Sunday. If you are still watching via Livestream or Facebook,
then I encourage you to pick up some juice and bread to take
it along with us.
Years ago, I pastored a church that required a Baptismal
class before being baptized. I led the classes. We baptized on
the Sunday that we observed Communion (once a month at
that church), and the complete service that day was centered
around the ordinances. During the baptismal course for
children, I always asked, “What do you like best about our
Church?” Every group of children always responded, “Baptism
and Lord’s Supper.” It should not have surprised me with their
answer. After all, Jesus instituted these two ordinances, and
they are just as powerful today as they were 2,000 years ago
when Jesus told his disciples to remember Him and identify
with Him through baptism and Lord’s Supper.
Hope to see you Sunday as we remember what Jesus did
for us! Come and enjoy the close communion we feel as we
partake of the Lord’s Supper together.
Shared from https://abc13.com/
Laura's landfall predicted Wednesday night or early Thursday morning as a Category 3 hurricane
10 A.M. UPDATE: The National Weather Service has now issued Hurricane and Storm Surge Warnings from San Luis Pass and eastward along the upper Texas coast. The warnings stretch into Louisiana.
This is a developing story. An earlier edition is below.
Laura is now a hurricane with 75 mph winds. Hurricane Laura is zeroing in on a Texas or Louisiana landfall Wednesday night or early Thursday, likely as a major hurricane. Watches and warnings have been issued that now cover parts of southeast Texas.
A Hurricane Watch stretches along the coast from Port Bolivar, Texas, to west of Morgan City, Louisiana. Galveston Bay, Bolivar Peninsula, Chambers County, and southern Liberty County are under the watch.
7AM UPDATE: Hurricane Laura is expected to make landfall as a category 3 storm between Wed. and Thurs. night. Press play to see the current forecasted path for landfall.
A Storm Surge Watch is in effect from San Luis Pass, Texas, to Ocean Springs, Mississippi. Galveston Island, Bolivar Peninsula, coastal Harris County, coastal Galveston County, coastal Brazoria County, Brazoria Islands and Chambers County are under this watch.
Inland, we also have a Tropical Storm Watch for Harris, Galveston, Montgomery, Walker, Trinity, Polk, San Jacinto, and northern Liberty counties.
These watches all mean those conditions are possible by Wednesday afternoon.
Hurricane Laura's projected path brings the system somewhere in between the upper Texas coast and southeastern Louisiana Wednesday night into Thursday morning as a Category 3 hurricane with 115 mph winds. Southeast Texas is included on the far left side of the track. The center of the cone is pointing towards the western Louisiana coast. There is an equal chance it will track along the left side, middle, or right side of the cone.
As a result of the latest information, some areas have issued mandatory or voluntary evacuations.
The City of Galveston's mandatory order went into effect at 6 a.m. Tuesday. Residents should secure loose items on their property and leave the island with all family members and pets.
Meanwhile, officials said evacuations are voluntary for those on the Bolivar Peninsula and residents and Chambers and Brazoria Counties. Voluntary evacuations are issued in the coastal communities of Seabrook and Nassau Bay, though officials said that could change depending on further updates.
Even those who don't live near the water are being told to be prepared.
At 7 a.m. Tuesday, Hurricane Laura was located in the Gulf of Mexico about 145 miles northwest of the western tip of Cuba. Laura's maximum sustained winds are at 75 mph. The storm is moving quickly west-northwest at 17 mph. The minimum central pressure is dropping and now down to 991 millibars. A drop in pressure is the sign of a strengthening storm.
The exact landfall point and intensity of Laura remain uncertain as the storm interacts with Cuba overnight. We will feel more confident in the forecast by the 10 a.m. Tuesday forecast update from the National Hurricane Center. Laura is expected to make landfall as a category 3 hurricane along the Gulf Coast as early as Wednesday night. Tropical storm force winds are possible as early as Wednesday afternoon, so you will want to complete your preparations by Wednesday morning.
Tropical Storm Marco
Marco reached category 1 hurricane status Sunday morning but it weakened to a tropical storm by Sunday night. Marco made landfall in southeastern Louisiana at the mouth of the Mississippi River at 6 p.m. Monday. Marco's remnant moisture could bring us a few showers Tuesday afternoon, but no significant rains are expected.
We are entering peak hurricane season and all indications are that the already record-breaking season could get even busier over the coming weeks. Officially, the Atlantic hurricane season lasts through the end of November.
During hurricane season, remain prepared and make sure you download our ABC13 Houston app!
Here are some resources that may help you and your family get ready for this hurricane season:
UPDATE: Mandatory evacuations will be ongoing throughout the day and early tomorrow, so people have time to secure their properties, businesses, etc. and leave for safety. Residents are NOT required to be off the island by 12 p.m. City services will be suspended at 12 p.m. People should be getting their plans together this morning for an evacuation.
The state will be staging buses throughout the day at the Island Community Center at 4700 Broadway for those residents who need and have signed up for assistance.
ORIGINAL: City of Galveston Mayor Pro Tem Craig Brown signed a mandatory evacuation Tuesday instructing all Galveston residents to begin leaving the island for safety after overnight models shifted the landfall of Hurricane Laura westward.
Tropical Storm Laura, expected to develop into a hurricane today, is predicted to make landfall late Wednesday to early Thursday as a Category 3 Major Hurricane. The landfall is anticipated near the Texas/Louisiana border, according to the latest National Weather Service models. Overnight the track of the storm moved slightly westward toward Galveston.
Given the uncertainty of the path and the heightened intensity of this storm, as well as the track westward overnight, the City of Galveston is issuing a mandatory evacuation for all residents. The mandatory evacuation was signed at 6 a.m. Tuesday. Galveston residents should secure loose items at their property and leave the island today. It is urgent that residents heed this mandatory evacuation and leave with all family members and pets.
“With the uncertainties of this storm and its increasing strength, we need to take all necessary precautions to protect our residents,” Mayor Pro Tem Craig Brown said. “It’s imperative that you make plans this morning to secure your homes and move you and your family to safety off island.”
City services will be suspended today at 12 p.m. Sanitation will complete its route this morning and those services will be suspended. City staff will secure city facilities and all city buildings will be closed by Tuesday at 12 p.m.
Police and fire will not be available once winds reach Tropical Storm strength. Those who do not follow the evacuation order should not expect public safety services once conditions worsen.
If you are signed up for the State of Texas Emergency Assistance Registry, the state will begin staging buses at 47th and Broadway at the Island Community Center this morning. If you are in the STEAR program, but do not have a way to get to the community center, please call 409-765-3710 for assistance.