Hammond begins recovery efforts after Hurricane Ida
HAMMOND, La. (WAFB) - The city may have taken a heavy hit but the folks we’ve been able to speak with today are hanging in there. Driving around parts of Hammond, you could see just how much of Hurricane Ida the city endured.
The city’s iconic Southeastern Louisiana University put up a good fight. Most of the buildings on campus held strong except for a few. Fallen trees and heavy debris caused a majority of the school’s damage. But just a few blocks down the road in Woodbridge subdivision was a different story.
“The storm was unbelievable, the wind and the rain. I’ve never seen so much wind and rain it was just blowing so much. Water was from our neighbors’ door all the way up to our door. It was just very scary,” said one resident.
The man says the storm delivered a heavy blow. But the folks in the neighborhood all pulled together to help each other out.
“We started as soon as we could, even before the sun came up. We were checking on each other making sure we were okay, could we do anything. Just what you would normally do when you love your neighbors and you’re concerned,” said another resident around the corner.
Even some unlikely heroes decided to lend a hand. Selling some lemonade to anyone who was thirsty.
“Doing all of this selling is making us hot,” said one little girl who was serving the drinks to her neighbors.
With essentially the entire city without power. Many who live here are desperate for food. That’s where the Salvation Army stepped in to help.
“We’re here, the Salvation Army with our mobile kitchen. And our team from Texas arrived yesterday. We deployed from Beaumont and came with 11 mobile kitchens very similar to the one you see behind me today. We’re going out to various communities affected by Hurricane Ida and bringing food and water and some emotional and spiritual support which is what the Salvation Army is all about,” said Philip Burn who was overseeing the operation.
The line to get a hot meal stretched as far as the eye could see.
“We can’t really get home right now; we’re staying at the hotel right down the street waiting for them to clear the streets to get to the place. Trying to get a hot meal, all we got is dry food right now,” said one man who was in line with his family of four.
There’s a lot that needs to be done before the job is complete. But the people of Hammond know what it takes to get the city back on its feet.
As far as Southeastern goes we’re told campus is closed until further notice and decisions are being made as far as classes for the remainder of the semester and their first home football game has been relocated to Alabama. Also, the Salvation Army anticipates they will continue to come out here as long as their services are needed. It’s also worth mentioning there is nowhere in the city to get gas, so folks need to keep that in mind for the time being until those companies can get those pumps back up and running.
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