Remember New Orleans 8 29 2005 Hurricane Katrina

Hurricane Katrina: 4 Years Ago 8-29-2005 Video Remembrance

Hurricane Katrina: Rain to Renaissance – YouTube Video

I couldn’t let August 29th go by without posting some remembrance for our many friends in New Orleans. Four years ago today Katrina slammed into the Gulf Coast and devastated New Orleans. I went down and volunteered with Project417, staying until August ’06 working in relief centers and hosting volunteers helping gut out and repair flood ravaged homes in the Lower 9th. I put the video together from photos we took, news shots, NASA photos and other YouTube videographers. It still needs an ending that shows the spirit of revival and community caring that continues to grow today. Worth watching? You tell me – I will never forget New Orleans.

Re-tweet it @canayjun to let me know you watched. Thx!

The Old Man and the Storm – Hurricane Katrina documentary – Jan 6th on PBS

Mr. Herbert Gettridge

Mr. Herbert Gettridge

About a true hero of  Hurricane Katrina: Mr. Herbert Gettridge – airing January 6, 2009 and online. Six months after Hurricane Katrina slammed into New Orleans, producer June Cross came across 82-year-old Herbert Gettridge working alone on his home in the lower Ninth Ward, a neighborhood devastated when the levees broke in 2005. Over the next two years, Cross documented the Gettridge family’s story. After a long wait, the film  – The Old Man and the Storm – will air on PBS to tell the story of perseverance against all odds, not the least of which is the bungling of recovery efforts by state and federal agencies.

Project417’s Andy Coates came across Mr. Gettridge in the Lower Ninth ward in April of 2006, eight months after the storm hit. Like Cross he found Mr. G, as he became affectionately known, working by himself – the only home-owner for blocks around struggling to clean-up his property and repair his hurricane ravaged home.  I visited him at his home last month returning from our Texas Hurricane Ike relief trip.

I first visited New Orleans in March 2006, eight months after Katrina, to volunteer for two weeks with the Salvation Army. Our director Joe Elkerton had been a first responder in September of ’05 just after the storm. When I saw the devastation of the city and the snail’s pace at which recovery was taking place, I decided to stay for the next six months and organize volunteer teams through Project417 to help with the clean-up. Over the course of that stay, Mr. Herbert Gettridge, Andy and Paul, July 2006almost a hundred volunteers came down to work on projects with me – three of the work sites were properties owned by the Gettridge family in the Lower Ninth Ward of Orleans Parish, New Orleans.  Everyone who met Mr. Herbert Gettridge realized he was no victim  – 82 years old, he was one of the first returning residents of the Lower 9th – and was working single-handed to fix his home. His mission, to rebuild it so his wife, staying with family in Madison, Wisconsin, could rejoin him in the home they had built together more than fifty years ago.  Many faith based volunteer teams pitched in to help Mr. Gettridge re-build – and that story is told in June Cross’ film on PBS . (It was so wonderful to be able to visit with both Mr. and Mrs. Gettridge in their renovated home last month – what he’d been wishing and working for so long).

Almost without exception, everywhere in New Orleans re-building was taking place, hard working church volunteers were making a difference.  Of course there were a multitude of recovery teams, not just faith-based, that came to New Orleans to fill the vacuum left by the total absence of any organized government efforts – including groups like the local Common Ground who adopted the Lower Ninth,  and young hard-working AmeriCorps youth were sweating it out all across the gulf. (Project417 hosted AmeriCorps teams at two Lower Ninth sites).

Be sure to watch the story of a true American hero – The Old Man and the Storm – on PBS January 6th at 9pm (check local listings).  And when you’re done, consider coming with Project417 back to the Gulf and continue the re-building that is still going on. We want to get a fund set up to build new homes on two properties owned by Mr. Gettridge in the Lower Ninth. All across the Lower Ninth are still homes that have not been touched since Katrina 3 1/2 years ago. In Mississippi, from Waveland to Biloxi, re-construction continues – house foundations still lay bare.  Following Hurricane’s Gustav and Ike this fall, Project417 is hosting teams in Galveston County, Texas – the devastation is on the scale of that visited by Katrina.  The people of the Gulf coast need you, their neighbors, to come and help them.

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Hurricane Ike Disaster Recovery – San Leon, Texas – Volunteer Trip

The recovery work continues –

From our facebook group, come visit us there:

http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=37327829412

Andy

Andy

(you must be logged into Facebook to visit the group)


 
 
Continuing disaster relief effortsby Project417 team member Andy Coates

San Leon, Texas

San Leon, Texas

in September and October , there will be another volunteer trip to take part in the recovery work in Galveston County from December 13th to 17th, 2008. The work will take place in San Leon, Texas, a small town on the coast that depends primarily on the devastated fishing industry for survival. The Hurricane Ike storm surge severely damaged most homes in San Leon and the volunteer recovery projects will consist mostly of property clean-up and house renovation and gutting.
Plans arefor a Toronto and area team to visit San Leon Texas in the second week of January. April and Andy are heading down there this week (Dec 11th)  to meet a group of 12 volunteers from Georgia State University- The Vietnamese Students Association and we will be performing community relief work such as property clean-up, and renovations / gutting of flood damaged homes for primarily the Vietnamese American families who live there.The Georgia group is there from the 13th to the 17 of December and then we’ll return.In the second week of January, we also have tentatively booked another group of volunteers from the University of Illinois, approximately 20 students, to visit San Leon again. Many of this group have experience gutting out homes and other relief work in Alabama, Mississippi and New Orleans, Louisiana following Hurricane Katrina.

Consider joining a team. Donate to project417 to help the Hurricane Ike victims

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Thousands a day seeking meals from Salvation Army in Galveston County

Galveston County Daily News, Oct. 6, 2008 GALVESTON: Tracy Czajkowski, a captain in the Salvation Army, said she and other volunteers from across the country hope to be the “shock absorbers” for Galveston residents who lost everything during the storm. Relief workers and volunteers, have gone from one disaster zone to another. At each place, workers have been greeted by people clinging to the end of their rope. [ end of excerpt ]

Andy and Karyl on the canteen

Andy and Karyl on the canteen

Over on the mainland in Galveston County, I am serving meals in devastated San Leon, Texas. The Pasadena Command of the Salvation Army is now focusing its mobile canteen service on the southern areas of the coastal area hit by Hurricane Ike. San Leon has had two canteens assigned for a total of over two thousand people served hot meals each day, and each day the food often runs out prompting the Emotional and Spiritual Care teams to call for even more support. The main mobile kitchen in Seabrook, staffed by Southern Baptist volunteers, that cook all the meals for the canteens prepare about 6,500 meals a day. Our canteen travels there twice a day to pick up the food and restock with water, ice, Gator Aid and snacks. It’s expected that mobile kitchen will re-locate south across the causeway into the coastal town of Kemah, more central to our relief efforts now that life is becoming more normalized in Houston County.

Today will be my last day onsite of the trip, but I look forward to returning soon to help the folks in San Leon and Galveston. I’ve given thought to changing the New Orleans short term mission in November to Galveston County and the people of San Leon. They all need help gutting out flood ravaged homes. Many are being bulldozed due to structural damage and will have to be rebuilt from scratch. Thanks for all your support and consider donating to help the poor people who have no homes and little that we all take for granted.
~~~
Andy Coats

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After Powerful Hurricane, Rescuers Scour Ravaged Areas

Emergency officials struggled to carry out rescue efforts on Sunday after Hurricane Ike roared across a wide swath of Texas, deluging the city of Galveston and other coastal areas with a surge of water, leaving extensive damage across metropolitan Houston, and killing at least three people. Ike ravaged much of the Gulf coats including Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. More… [NY Times – source]

Donate now to help Hurricanes Ike and Gustav victims.

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Devastating Hurricane Ike swamps Texas and Louisiana – Worse Than Katrina

Hurricane Ike from Space - the International Space Station

Hurricane Ike from Space - the International Space Station

By The Associated Press GALVESTON, Texas -Howling ashore with 177 kilometre-an-hour winds, Hurricane Ike ravaged the Texas and Louisiana coasts Saturday, flooding thousands of homes and businesses, shattering windows in Houston’s skyscrapers and knocking out power to millions of people. At first light, it was unclear how many may have perished, and authorities mobilized for a huge search-and-rescue operation to reach the more than 100,000 people who ignored warnings that any attempt to ride the storm out could bring “certain death.” Louisiana and the New Orleans area were also hit. Ike is over 800 kms wide. Plaquemines Parish south of New Orleans reported levees breached and storm surge higher than Katrina in 2005. [end of excerpt]

Project417’s Andy Coats will travel down to take part in the recovery operations. Make your donation now to help our U.S. neighbors.

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New Orleans Update – Hurricane Ike Headed for Texas Coast – Louisiana Watchful

Hurricane and storm watch alerts for Ike

Hurricane and storm watch alerts for Ike

Latest reports are that Hurricane Ike, which battered Cuba with high winds and a five story storm surge, will make landfall on the Southeast Texas coast – Galveston Island to Houston area late friday, early Saturday. Currently rated category 2, but expected to pick up steam to category 3 at least before striking, Ike is already afftecting the Louisiana gulf coast area and New Orleans with winds in excess of 70 mph [ 120kph ] . Although the center of the storm’s path is headed towards Texas, it’s effects spread across hundreds of miles of southwest U.S. gulf coastline.

I’ve been planning to head down to New Orleans for Project417 since Labour Day weekend and the drive for donations to fund the trip is doing moderately well. However, there is still a shortfall of almost $800 to cover the trip expenses. For details of the project click here or visit Project417.com .  Please donate so we can continue to help the residents of New Orleans recover from Hurricane Katrina in 2005 while they are still threatened by this years onslaught of tropical storms and hurricanes.  You can donate online by clicking on the Paypal link above or on the MissionLog home page.

Thanks!    <><  Andy

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