What a day. Just getting to our hotel.
Had to drive to Elton Louisiana for gas.
The only place we can get it close to Lake Charles.
Our team just drove around the city clearing trees from roads.
We worked trees in front of barbed elementary, a small elderly neighborhood where a tree that fell across a four-way stop prevented anyone from getting into the neighborhood, several trees on Enterprise boulevard near the railroad tracks. We met a lot of new friends who will be working with going forward mostly locals. Also we were offered by Army National guard to work alongside them tomorrow as well.
Some things we learned.
Lake Charles has zero electricity.
There is no gas within 60 miles.
There are no showers within 60 miles.
There is no running water.
Every single road is littered with tree limbs and debris and fallen power lines.
We estimate 75% of homes have significant when damaged.
Shingles when blown off of roof don't pull the nail up, thankfully!
Roads everywhere are littered with home shingles inside of neighborhoods. When you start a project in a neighborhood, it energizes the neighborhood and the neighbors come out and start helping.
You have to plan where you're going carefully, if you run out of gas you will be stranded.
We plan carefully and did not run out of gas.
If you see a gigantic plume of toxic smoke arising from a PPG plant, alert FEMA, and then run in the opposite direction.
Our team broke the story that went global about the toxic fumes coming from the fire after Hurricane Laura decimated the Lake Charles area.
We were genuinely concerned for ourselves and got as far from possible exposure to the fumes as we could.
Eventually they brought it mostly under control and we were able to move about the city safely.
Lake Charles is a resilient town with an amazing history, it will rebuild.
Fact, our founder was born in Lake Charles.
Is a direct descendant of the founder of Lake Charles, John Jacob Ryan whom Ryan Street in Lake Charles is named after.
If you ever need assistant, you want guys named Donald, Kenny, Jess, Zach and the entire contingent of Cajun Navy dispatchers and researchers and team on your side.
We have started the process to have gas available to us on scene as soon as tomorrow when we return.
Support our efforts here cajunrelief.org/donate