Days of torrential rain inundated the state of Louisiana, beginning August 11. Flooding has impacted at least 40,000 homes, and about 30,000 people and 1,000 pets have been rescued from high water in homes and cars. At least 11 people are known to have died in the disaster. The United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) issued an emergency grant to the Louisiana Annual Conference, releasing 2,950 cleanup buckets to United Methodist churches in LaFayette and Baton Rouge, areas severely affected by the floods, for distribution to affected households. UMCOR stands ready to release another 2,000 cleanup buckets to go to the most vulnerable places as identified by the Louisiana Conference, as more cleanup buckets are being assembled to meet more needs. The state of Mississippi also was affected by flooding, and UMCOR has readied relief supplies to go there, when the water recedes. Click here to read more about UMCOR’s relief efforts.

United Methodist News Service has also been sharing stories of the flooding in Louisiana. Read about a flooded-out church meeting at a funeral home, an essay from Bishop Cynthia Fierro Harvey that likens the flooding “Katrina without the wind”, and about other Louisiana churches coping with flood damage. GBHEM also extended support for Louisiana flood victims.

Work trips with Wisconsin Volunteers in Mission to assist in flood repair and relief are being planned for January and February 2017 for Texas and Louisiana. The exact site locations are still to be determined. Visit wisvim.org for more information on the trips and to sign up. In the meantime, donations can be made to the Wisconsin Annual Conference with “#5965 UMCOR U.S. Disaster Response” in the check memo line.