On the weekend of August 12th, 2016, Louisiana was hit with the worst storm since hurricanes Rita and Katrina. According to USA Today the total amount of rainfall over the affected areas came to about 52.7 feet. Over 60,000 homes were damaged. That, combined with the losses to infrastructure and businesses, brought the total cost of the damage into the millions.
Many of the citizens affected were without flood insurance and lost nearly everything. Despite the gravity of the disaster, the mainstream media has greatly shunned the plight of thousands and coverage has been scarce. The only exception was the attempt by the New York Times to use the horrific tragedy to push a political climate alarmist agenda.
However, it is often in these tragedies that heroes living among us as ordinary people rise up and become a light in the darkness. These heroes didn’t wear capes, or have fancy names or titles. They instead were sportsmen, oil field workers and fishermen. Private citizens composed of ordinary decent people began to mobilize and help their neighbors in harm’s way.
This event hit close to home with CFACT as Southern Regional Director Graham Beduze, a native of Louisiana who was greeted with the rising waters as he returned home from the recent student Eco-Summit in Minnesota. The rest of the week CFACT decided to equip Graham with the resources to purchase hundreds of bottles of water to bring to the numerous groups and citizens working to rebuild their homes, churches, and businesses in the affected area.
Graham, a soon to be graduate of the University of Louisiana, Lafayette, spent the better part of three days traveling around town, helping folks with whatever needed to be done.
“I just started driving around town, particularly to the areas I knew had been hit the hardest,” Graham said. “I partnered with some people who were just doing the same thing I was-helping whoever needed help without ever having met them before. It was really emotional, seeing how many folks came out to help the community. It’s a terrible disaster…but we’ll always be here for our fellow Louisianians.”
Graham partnered with some neighbors and good Samaritans, as well as students from St. John of the Cross Academy, to tear out drywall, help remove damaged furniture from homes, hook up appliances and hand out water to individuals and families.
The message is clear, CFACT stands with the people of Louisiana. By further partnering up with other groups in the Acadiana area, we’re pleased that Graham was able to show love and support to suffering neighbors in his community.