Samaritan’s Purse Disaster Relief Specialists Bring Aid to Victims of Louisiana Tornado Outbreak
At least seven tornadoes tore across eastern Louisiana on Tuesday, leading Governor John Bel Edwards to declare a state of emergency. The twisters caused extensive destruction throughout the state and damaged hundreds of homes. International Christian relief organization Samaritan's Purse was on the ground just hours after the storm.
A Samaritan's Purse Disaster Response tractor-trailer is now on the way, and the organization is mobilizing volunteers to provide relief to New Orleans—an area where Samaritan's Purse responded less than 12 years ago after Hurricane Katrina.
"Tuesday's storms hammered eastern Louisiana, leaving hundreds of families reeling from tremendous loss," said Franklin Graham, president of Samaritan's Purse. "We want to show the love of Jesus Christ by reminding families they are not alone and helping them recover from these devastating tornadoes."
The North Carolina-based organization's nationwide network of volunteers will help families clean up after the storm. Teams will use skid-steer loaders, chainsaws and other equipment to clear debris and remove fallen trees. Volunteers will also assist homeowners by covering damaged roofs with tarp and helping them recover personal belongings.
- Todd Taylor, assistant manager of U.S. Disaster Relief for Samaritan's Purse, leading assessments in New Orleans
- Randy Corn, program manager for Samaritan's Purse, on the ground in New Orleans
- Tim Haas, manager of U.S. Disaster Relief for Samaritan's Purse, coordinating response efforts
Chaplains from the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association's Rapid Response Team have also been deployed to help tornado victims. They will be working alongside Samaritan's Purse to provide emotional and spiritual encouragement in the community.
Samaritan's Purse has helped more than 29,000 families in 35 U.S. states following floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, fires and ice storms. In the past six months, the organization has helped victims of Hurricane Matthew in the Carolinas and Haiti, responded to floods in Mississippi and Louisiana, and is currently providing aid to victims of deadly tornadoes in Georgia and Mississippi.