Hurricane Ida, now a tropical storm, slammed into the Louisiana Gulf Coast at 11:55 a.m. CT on Aug. 29, making landfall in southeastern Louisiana as a Category 4 storm with winds reaching 150 mph. The Billy Graham Rapid Response Team (BG-RRT) and Samaritan’s Purse’s U.S. Disaster Relief Team have deployed to three locations in Louisiana—Houma, greater New Orleans and the Northshore area of Lake Pontchartrain.
“The scope of the devastation is more than we can imagine,” said Jack Munday, BG-RRT international director. “People’s lives and futures have been literally washed away. This storm affects so many areas of life and causes so much uncertainty.”
Ida pummeled the Bayou State on the 16th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, a Category 3 storm that ravaged Louisiana and Mississippi in August 2005 and resulted in more than 1,800 deaths and $125 billion in damage.
“Down there, everything about [people’s] lives is now in question as homes and businesses have been destroyed, leaving people with nowhere to go and no jobs to return to,” Munday said. “With all that … the Gospel is needed to bring hope and peace in the midst of this uncertainty and fear. After Hurricane Katrina we saw God do that. Over 33 months of deployment, we saw day after day as people accepted Christ and found the peace that passes all human understanding.”
To date, Ida is responsible for at least 40 deaths, and nearly a million homes in Louisiana are still without power.
Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards tweeted that as of 7:30 a.m. CT Aug. 30, “the state has deployed more than 1,600 personnel to conduct search and rescue across Louisiana.”
Updated Sept. 2, 4:00 p.m.
Photo: Planetpix/Alamy Live News