• Long Beach Breeze

Long Beach residents help Louisiana families impacted by Hurricane Laura

By Andy Kanengiser

Long Beach law enforcement agencies joined forces with local churches and many area residents to assist Louisiana families slammed by Hurricane Laura.

Serving their Southern neighbors when disaster strikes seems to be a way of life in the Friendly City.

Many of the supplies needed in the Hurricane Laura recovery went to residents of Lake Charles, Louisiana and Beaumont, Texas who experienced much of the storm’s wrath in late August. Hurricane Laura claimed over two dozen lives, mainly in Louisiana and Texas, with extensive damage reported. It was one of the worst hurricanes in modern Louisiana history.

Laura pounded the Bayou State on the 15th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina that devastated much of the Mississippi Gulf Coast and New Orleans. The storm packed winds clocked at 150 mph when it made landfall near tiny Cameron, Louisiana. Nearly everything in its path was demolished. Laura devastated Holly Beach and Cameron in Southwestern Louisiana before pushing north to Lake Charles and Sulphur.

With a big heart for helping neighbors when disaster strikes, Long Beach people stepped up.

It was part of an effort across the Mississippi Gulf Coast, as residents and officials took part in extensive cleanup after Hurricane Laura. Others filled trucks with a laundry list of supplies to bring to communities like Lake Charles.

“Long Beach is joining forces with our sister cities along the Coast and collecting supplies for those affected by Hurricane Laura,” said Jenny Levens, the City’s community affairs director. “We are only collecting cleaning supplies.”

People dropped off supplies at three Long Beach Fire Stations, the Long Beach Police Department or City Hall.

Churches everywhere in the Friendly City were going the extra mile.

On September 5-6, leaders at St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church organized a successful collection for Hurricane Laura victims in Louisiana and Texas. Bishop Kihneman announced the special collection would benefit the people in the Diocese of Beaumont, Texas, and Lake Charles, Louisiana.

Other churches pitched in, too, including First United Methodist Church of Long Beach in early September.

At St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church, items being collected for Hurricane Laura victims included water bottles, diapers, cleaning supplies, work gloves, pet food, toilet paper, garbage bags, buckets and batteries. Items were loaded up in an 18-wheeler truck trailer marked “Hurricane Relief.’’

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