NOLAH Past Projects

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NOLAH Responds to Disasters

Hurricane Isaac – August 29, 2012

On the 7th anniversary of the devastating Hurricane Katrina, Hurricane Isaac made landfall at the mouth of the Mississippi River. Most of the media was focused on the newly rebuilt levees and flood protection systems around New Orleans and St. Bernard parish. Those areas were safe, but the small community of Braithwaite, LA was devastated. Areas previously safe from flooding were inundated. It was here that we met Lillie Mae Cosse.

Lillie Mae is a much beloved resident of Braithwaite, and local residents sought out any assistance available to bring her home. Lillie Mae had done all of the right things: her home was fully covered by both flood and homeowner’s insurance. However, her insurance company exercised a little known clause in her mortgage documents that allowed them to take all of the insurance proceeds to pay down her mortgage. Lillie Mae was left with no money to rebuild. On the eve of the first anniversary of the storm, she suffered a heart attack from stress. NOLAH stepped in to partner with Mennonite Disaster Services and brought Lillie Mae home.

Lillie Mae Cosse

The 1,000 Year Flood – Baton Rouge, LA, August 2016

It set records that may never be broken in our lifetime, or our children’s. Newscasters struggled with how to characterize the immensity for viewers. More than TWO FEET of rain fell on numerous locations in central Louisiana, in areas that have never been considered flood zones. And as the rain filled streets and drove rivers and creeks over their banks, the overload of water flowed south and flooded even more areas.

60,000 homes flooded. The damage was comparable to Hurricanes Sandy and Katrina. But it wasn’t a hurricane or tropical storm, just a low pressure system. It took many days before the magnatude of the disaster was known.

NOLAH went to Baker, LA, a small town just north of Baton Rouge. There, NOLAH was able to deliver 7 tractor trailer loads of building materials, distributed to over 100 homeowners with the assistance of the Rotary Club of Baker.

A Thousand Year Flood