Hurricane Ida -- the fifth strongest hurricane ever to hit the U.S. mainland -- has caused massive devastation across Louisiana. This historic storm has left hundreds of thousands without power -- including all of New Orleans. Many communities have been decimated by the storm.
The main transmission line that provides New Orleans with power has taken on catastrophic damage. Officials are warning that communities could be without power for SEVERAL WEEKS. Transportation is difficult if not impossible with several areas still under 3-5 feet of water. My contact in LaPlace (just west of New Orleans) told me that almost every home in the community has substantial damage. As we were speaking on the phone, part of his home's roof was ripped off and water came pouring in.
+ + We are deploying NOW!
As I write, Mercy Chefs is deploying TWO MOBILE KITCHEN TEAMS to the New Orleans area. Our first team is coming from Oklahoma with plans on serving our first meals TOMORROW EVENING. Our second team is coming from the east with our largest mobile kitchen, a tractor trailer full of food, and a refrigerated box truck.
In all, Mercy Chefs has seven vehicles (along with staff) driving in from the east and the west with seven more staff members flying in today and tomorrow.
This is a maximum deployment for Mercy Chefs that will require our full capabilities and the full support of every Mercy Chefs friend and partner. I am expecting that we will be serving 15,000 meals DAILY once both kitchens are fully operational.
I'm calling on every friend and partner to stand with us TODAY as we deploy to provide hot meals to Hurricane Ida victims. Will you help today by sponsoring 10, 20, 50 or even 100 meals? Go here to sponsor hot meals for Hurricane Ida victims in Louisiana who desperately need our help:
+ + Extremely Difficult Conditions
Conditions on the ground in and around New Orleans are extremely difficult right now. As I noted, transportation in many areas is nearly impossible. Home after home has been damaged. Power outages are so widespread that hundreds of thousands are facing dark nights for weeks. They will quickly lose all their refrigerated food. People are going to urgently need our help.
This could be one of the most difficult deployments we have faced. First, the need is widespread. We are setting up our base in the city of Kenner -- just west of New Orleans. Because so much infrastructure has been damaged or lost, we must take in everything we will need to feed hurricane victims. Supply lines will be a major challenge -- fuel, food... everything. I am facing the possibility of having to create our own supply lines all the way from Houston!
Our costs are already mounting as we move equipment and our team to begin serving meals tomorrow. As I noted, Mercy Chefs has SEVEN vehicles on the move TODAY -- along with staff. Plus, we're flying in seven additional team members.
Thank you for your prayers. Thank you in advance for your support. I'll have more updates soon.
P.S. This is truly an ALL HANDS ON DECK deployment. I urgently need the help of EVERY Mercy Chefs friend. The next 24-48 hours are most critical -- and the most costly as we rush to get our vehicles, equipment and staff in place. We plan on serving meals as soon as TOMORROW and I fully expect to be serving 15,000 meals daily during this disaster response which could go on for WEEKS. PLEASE HELP! Go here: