BATON ROUGE – About 10 days ago, torrential rains led to catastrophic flooding in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and across Acadiana. Thousands of residents are now without a home, another shock to an already extremely difficult summer for Baton Rouge residents, beginning with the shooting death of 37-year-old Alton Sterling in front of a Triple S convenience store on July 5, and a lone gunman who killed three law enforcement officers on July 17 outside of a B-Quik convenience store.
Justin Alford of Benny’s Car Wash and B-Quik Convenience Stores conveyed to NACS that while everyone is safe, 100 employees have lost their homes. The company also lost an entire facility to three feet of water.
Al Hebert, our “Gas Station Gourmet” columnist for NACS Magazine and Abbeville, Louisiana, resident, told NACS that he’s never seen such widespread destruction, perhaps larger than any hurricane he’s experienced. “Cars have been floating down the street about a half mile from here,” he said, adding that the “banks of the picturesque Vermilion River were at my back doorstep.”
Actor and convenience retailer Wendell Pierce told CNN that he lost his home to the flooding in Baton Rouge. The flooding is being called the worst natural disaster since Superstorm Sandy in 2012. An estimated 40,000 houses have been damaged, according to news reports, and roughly 86,000 people have applied for federal disaster aid.
Across the country people are looking for ways to help and make donations. Volunteer Louisiana is assisting those who are looking for state-wide opportunities to volunteer or donate funds. The website includes links and information to a variety of organizations.
Online donations are being accepted from numerous groups. The Red Cross is accepting donations at 1-800-REDCROSS and via text to 90999 (type LAFLOODS to donate $10 automatically). For those outside of Louisiana who would like to mail items, information can be found here.