GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – The Red Cross says it’s the worst flooding event in the U.S. since Superstorm Sandy.
Thousands are homeless, with cleanup and rebuilding efforts estimated to cost at least $30 million. Hundreds of Red Cross volunteers from across the country were deployed to the state of Louisiana.
9 On Your Side is catching up with one volunteer from eastern North Carolina who’s in Louisiana in this week’s Positively Carolina.
Meteorologists say 6.9 trillion gallons of rain fell in Louisiana in one week, damaging 60,000 homes.
The Pelican State is working to bounce back, which one volunteer from the east said she has experienced firsthand.
30 parishes in the state have been declared disaster areas. Homes and businesses have been destroyed making recovery efforts more difficult.
But Leah Grosjean said she’s learning on the job and is impressed with the people that have been affected, “The people help each other and they’re starting to figure out how to recover.”
Grosjean works to make sure the shelters in disaster areas are able to accommodate everyone, including those who have been displaced who suffer from disabilities.
She said she’s best suited for the job because she knows how hard the struggles can be, “I’ve lived with a disability for almost 28 years. I’m blind and I use a service dog, so I know on some levels what it’s like not to have easy access to things or I had to learn how to adapt and readjust into new environments.”
Grosjean said this experience has helped her better prepare for her next assignment, “It’s my first national operation that I’ve been inside the shelter, which is pretty cool. I’ve worked shelters in Eastern Carolina, so for me to be a part of standing up a shelter and working with the population for six days, that was really cool. I learned a lot.”
She said the purpose of her time in Louisiana with the Red Cross is to leave the communities better than she found it, “If we can make sure that our shelters can accommodate what they might need, then it will be easier for them to recover.”
Grosjean will stay in Louisiana until the end of next week. She’s just one of many from North Carolina working in the region. Five of those volunteers are working from home in eastern North Carolina to remotely complete casework.
To learn how you can help the victims of the Louisiana floods, click here.