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Presbyterians ready to help the Gulf Coast recover from Hurricane Ida

Presbyterian Disaster Assistance seeks to bring hope and healing after the Category 4 storm. You can help

by Rich Copley | Presbyterian News Service

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Doppler radar imagery indicates that the eye of Ida made landfall along the southeastern coast of Louisiana near Port Fourchon around 1155 a.m. Central Time. (Photo courtesy of NOAA)

And hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us. — Romans 5:5

LEXINGTON, Kentucky As news comes in of the devastating effects of Hurricane Ida in New Orleans and the Gulf Coast, Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA) is organizing a response that will help sustain life and restore hope in the coming days.

“Our hearts break and rise up in prayer for the people of Louisiana and the Gulf Coast, where the catastrophic damage from last year’s hurricanes in Lake Charles, February’s freeze and spring flooding, along with the continuing impact of COVID are still largely unrepaired, and the burden on the people of this hard-hit state is overwhelming,” the Rev. Dr. Laurie Kraus, director of PDA, said Sunday. “The PC(USA) must stand with our siblings in the region as they seek to serve as wounded healers for those who have not had equitable access to rebuilding and whose vulnerability in the face of new threats is significant.

“Right now, we need the church’s prayers and financial assistance.”

Hurricane Ida made landfall as a Category 4 storm at approximately 11:55 a.m. Central Time Sunday near Port Fourchon, Louisiana, just slightly southwest of New Orleans, with maximum sustained winds of 150 mph, according to The Weather Channel, causing significant flooding. Communities such as Shell Beach, Louisiana and Waveland, Mississippi reported storm surges of more than seven feet, and widespread power outages are being reported.

A slow-moving storm, Ida is expected to dump large amounts of rain as it works its way inland and across the Southeast in coming days.

PDA has reached out to presbyteries in the path of the storm to offer support and stands ready to assist.

Presbyterian Disaster Assistance is the emergency response and refugee program of the denomination, committed to the long-term journey of recovery of communities adversely affected by a crisis or catastrophic event. It is funded by One Great Hour of Sharing and has designated funds for responding to specific disasters.

Ida’s landfall comes on the 16th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina’s landfall in New Orleans. Last year, PDA staff and volunteers reflected on the years-long effort to aid in recovery from the historic storm.

“It was one of those transformational moments,” said the Rev. Jim Kirk, who was a National Response Team member at the time and now serves as PDA’s Associate for Disaster Response in the U.S. “One of the great things about people of faith is that in the face of overwhelming need, there is a deep calling to respond.”

To support recovery efforts in the wake of Ida, click here. You’ll be taken to the PC(USA) website to donate securely and quickly.

If you prefer to mail a check, you may send it to:

Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)

PO Box 643700

Pittsburgh, PA, 15264-3700

Please designate where you want the funds to go by writing DR000169 in the memo line.

You may also call Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Eastern Time, at 1-800-872-3283 and donate by phone.

Follow Presbyterian Disaster Assistance on Facebook and Twitter for the latest information.

Give to One Great Hour of Sharing to enable Presbyterian Disaster Assistance to respond quickly to catastrophic events.

Presbyterian Disaster Assistance is one of the Compassion, Peace & Justice ministries of the Presbyterian Mission Agency.


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