Disaster revisits NOLA – but so does disaster relief ministry

Disaster revisits NOLA – but so does disaster relief ministry

In this aerial photo, people walk amidst destruction from a tornado that struck on Tuesday night in Arabi, La., Wednesday, March 23, 2022. Residents of severely damaged or destroyed homes in Arabi swept up broken glass and tried to salvage their belongings. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

Disaster revisits NOLA – but so does disaster relief ministry

A tornado tore through a New Orleans neighborhood Tuesday night, in a part of the city that's no stranger to natural disasters – but help may already be on the way.

Less than 48 hours ago, a twister hit a section of the Big Easy, ripping off roofs, tearing up power lines, and throwing around a bunch of debris. KTLA in Los Angeles reported Tuesday evening that it was one of the same neighborhoods that suffered through Hurricane Katrina 17 years ago:

KTLA: "Video shows a massive, black funnel cloud visible in the darkened sky as it moves along the buildings in the eastern part of New Orleans …."

But it just so happens that the disaster relief ministry Eight Days of Hope already had plans in the area in a couple of weeks.

Tybor, Steve (Eight Days of Hope) Tybor

"[April 9-16] Eight Days of Hope has a major rebuilding trip in LaPlace, Louisiana, because of Hurricane Ida," reports EDOH president Steve Tybor, referring to the Category 4 storm in August 2021. "So, of course, when we saw the news the last 24 hours of what was going on in New Orleans, our hearts just sink because we've been in that area for many, many years – way back to Hurricane Katrina."

It's early yet, but Tybor hopes to get a "two-for-one" deal on disaster relief.

"We have leaders there as we speak, and right now the information they're giving us is that somewhere between 60 and 100 homes have damage to them," the ministry leader tells AFN. "We're still gathering information to see [if] there's a way that we can serve this community as we prepare to serve a community just 30 miles away."

If it works out that they decide to work in both areas, Tybor says there would be plenty of work for everyone.

"[We would be] tarping roofs, doing chainsaw work, removing trees from people's driveways [and] off the garage so they can get their car out – [and] just helping people salvage items," he describes. "So, really any skill set is needed right after a disaster."

Volunteers are encouraged to register on the EDOH website where they can designate which days they would be available for the effort in LaPlace. Food and lodging are provided free, and the ministry asks for at least a three-day commitment.