Katrinacus Rex

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

October Update

Ongoing Katrina relief news

Everyday is a different day and they all feel like a perpetual succession of Saturdays. The traffic in Slidell is still thick as everyone scurries along to handle their particular daily task. We’ve noticed a significant reduction in utility workers as most of those needs have been taken care of. Cable company trucks are still plentiful as they attempt to get back into operation while the Dish TV folks have set up a tent on the side of the road selling their systems to those who are waiting for their lost cable; free enterprise object lessons at their finest.

Electricity is fine as is our water and sewage and many more businesses are open yet many still remain closed. One huge problem has been the lack of workers. Thousands of employees left and hundreds have not returned. There are many job openings all around.

New Orleans and Jefferson Parishes have opened up recently as thousands have only recently made their way to their homes (or what is left of them.) Due to an oil and chemical spill on top of weeks worth of water saturation, St. Bernard Parish is seventy-five percent destroyed including my own sister’s house which will never be rebuilt.

Many shelters have consolidated into single shelters like in Slidell where there is only one shelter open with about three hundred people in it. Some public schools have divided themselves up into two school day shifts as they have had to operate in one building with two school’s worth of students due to flood damage. This has increased the traffic significantly as well.

I’ve been asked many times as to whether or not things have returned to any sense of ‘normalcy’ yet and quite frankly I’m not even sure what that means. We establish as much of a routine as can be possibly done given the circumstances but there is no such thing as normal right now. There is still much to be done and we are starting to feel the lessening of immediacy as we grind into the slow non-emergency months ahead.

Most folks have not yet heard from their insurance companies about what monies will be available to them for rebuilding and repairs. Expenses pile up as they live remotely either in high rent situations or in benevolency with family or friends.

The weather has gotten much cooler as the Christmas season is rapidly approaching. Most of us have no sense of time right now. Christmas will be both beautiful and hard as families begin to focus on Him and their losses at the same time.

Here is a brief summary of our efforts and where things stand as of right now. Hopefully these details will help you in assessing how you would like to help in either prayer or deed.


  • Pray for peace of mind, fullness in faith, and fortification of heart for our families as we move forward in grace enduring the stress and displacement during these trying times.
  • Pray for our outreach efforts to the community as we seek to bring the love of Christ to the afflicted areas in and around our city.
  • Pray that the Lord would open the hearts of the lost as we encounter them and that they would come to faith in Christ.
  • Pray for Sovereign Grace Fellowship and our ministerial direction as this disaster has opened up a realm of possibilities in long term mission work for our elders.

Supplies & Aid
We currently have plenty of clothes, food, and supplies to give away and no place to put more. That may change in the near future and I hope that it does. For now, we don’t need any more supplies.

Appointment Distribution
To avoid clothes and other donations becoming a rat’s nest of debris in a field we have chosen to allow the needy to ‘shop’ at our church. We have converted our Sunday school room into a mini Wal-mart of sorts. This allows people to come in on a more private basis and to afford a better opportunity for productive one-on-one dialogue.

Neighborhood Outreach
We have been going out to the neighborhoods in Slidell and meeting the residents at their homes to assess their needs. We have mini-fliers that we hand out to them as we engage in conversation. We have also put them out in some local businesses as well. As a result, we are currently receiving about three to four calls per day.

Gutting & Cleaning
While many homes have already been done, many have not. Work crews for ripping out sheetrock and walls and flooring and furniture are still needed.

Pressure washing and Mold abatement Work
The wooden frames and insides of homes need to be pressure washed and some form of mold abatement product needs to be applied.

Debris on Property
Some homes still need tree debris and home debris moved to the streets. This is where the Bobcats come in handy. We were able to knock out six homes in two days with a donated Bobcat and six men. So if anyone would like to bring down another Bobcat to use it would be greatly appreciated.

Tree Removal
We continue to get requests for tree trimming and removal. If anyone knows of a professional tree climber that wants to donate their time to remove and handle the tough and expensive removal jobs please let us know. We will have plenty of work available.

Contractors, Carpenters, and Roofers
We will have a need for professional workers once the homes are ready for re-construction and repair. Insurance checks have been slow and some won't have enough to get the work done. We can use your skills and time.


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