By Baptist Message staff
ALEXANDRIA, La, (LBM) — Louisiana received a “gut punch,” Friday, as the second hurricane in six weeks made landfall in the state.
The eye of Hurricane Delta crashed ashore at 5 p.m., Oct. 9. as a Category 2 storm with maximum sustained winds of 100 mph in Creole, nearly 13 miles east of Cameron, where Laura made landfall as a Category 4 hurricane (150 mph winds) on Aug. 27.
According to the National Weather Service, Delta had weakened to barely a tropical storm (35 mph sustained winds) as it exited into Mississippi at 7 a.m., Saturday, having followed a nearly identical path as Laura.
More than 565,000 businesses and homes in the state were without power as of 10:15 a.m., Oct. 10.
Delta also dumped heavy rain on parts of the state, which resulted in numerous road closures. AccuWeather reported late Friday that approximately 17.02 inches of rain fell in Iowa, just east of Lake Charles. Meanwhile, Bell City, about 7 miles south of Iowa, received 16.31 inches of rain and Lake Charles, 15.68 inches.
While reported damage was still unknown, Baptist Message learned Tall Timbers Baptist Conference Center in Woodworth received water damage in the Indian Creek Lodge, as well as the activities building and the game room, according to Louisiana Baptists Executive Director Steve Horn.
“We are in the process of assessing the needs, making decisions about locations for our base of disaster relief operations and bringing back online the operations we had in place responding to Laura,” Horn told the Baptist Message. “These will continue to be challenging times, but the beauty of this morning can be a reminder to us that God’s faithfulness is new every morning.”
PRAY FOR THE WEARY
Bruce Baker, director of missions for Carey Baptist Association, said people are weary. Many were repairing their homes that were damaged by Laura and must now deal with the aftermath of a second hurricane.
“Adding damage from Delta to the area will be devastating for many,” he said. “I am praying that I suffer well. That people will remember how much we love Jesus and our neighbors and not how much we suffer. In many ways it is better that the storm followed a track similar to Laura. No reason for someone else to get new damage.”
Meanwhile, GIbbie McMillan, state strategist for Louisiana Baptists’ disaster relief efforts, said a preliminary response plan has been put into place.
“We have Texas Baptist Men going to Trinity in Lake Charles to do feeding,” he said. “Missouri Baptist Disaster Relief is on the way to Bayou Church in Lafayette and will set up a drive-in feeding center at First Baptist Church in Welsh, too.
He added that a team from Rolling Hills Minsitries in Ruston was assigned to set up a feeding center at First Baptist Church in New Iberia and that the North Carolina Baptist Men incident command center was locating at First Bapitist Church in Lafayette.
McMillan also gave an update on the ongpoing response to Hurricane Laura.
“Arkansas Baptists will continue to operate the incident command center at Trinity Baptist Church in Lake Charles,” he advised. “Southern Baptists of Texas Convention is sending a team to Philadelphe Baptist Church, Horseshoe drive, in Alexandria, as the incident command center for Laura and Delta. A Mississippi feeding team is on standby and we could send then to Oakdale First Baptist Church.”