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If you would like to donate funds for this effort, (click here - Please specify in the comments "Ivan").

 

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HURRICANE IVAN

HURRICANE IVAN

HURRICANE IVAN

HURRICANE IVAN

HURRICANE IVAN

HURRICANE IVAN

HURRICANE IVAN

HURRICANE IVAN

HURRICANE IVAN

HURRICANE IVAN

HURRICANE IVAN

 

Civic Center shelter ‘miracle’

BY JEREMY HARPER AMERICAN PRESS

Hurricane Ivan evacuees quickly filed out of the Lake Charles Civic Center shelter Thursday morning after the OK was given for them to return home.  The shelter housed 749 evacuees at its peak, most of them exhausted from hours of gridlock along Interstate 10 and unable to find or afford a hotel room.  The Civic Center Coliseum was empty by Thursday afternoon, except for a few remaining volunteers.   The shelter, by all accounts a success, was thrown together by local officials in a matter of hours through a massive volunteer effort.  Dick Gremillion, the director of the Calcasieu Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, called the impromptu shelter a "logistical miracle."  State emergency officials usually tell people to head north for shelters instead of west in case a storm shifts course, he said. But northern routes out of New Orleans became quickly clogged, and evacuees headed west.  The need for a local shelter became apparent after dozens of sleepy drivers — worn from the 10-plus hour trek from the New Orleans area — began stopping in local parking lots to sleep.  Gremillion called Lake Charles Mayor Randy Roach early Wednesday to ask if the Civic Center could be used as a shelter. Roach then contacted the American Red Cross and city officials to begin the process.

   "This community really came together," said Roach, who recognized the shelter volunteers at a press conference Thursday. "In literally a few hours, we went from no strategic plan ... to I think it’s fair to say one of the best hurricane evacuation shelters on the Gulf Coast."  People poured in to the Civic Center, thanks to signs that were posted on I-10 pointing motorists to the shelter. The information was also broadcast over the radio.  Roach said the Red Cross and area municipal workers, including firemen, police officers, recreation workers, public works officials and the Civic Center staff, helped get the shelter up and running quickly.  Roach said he was gratified that people from all corners of Calcasieu Parish chipped in.  "I saw people from all over the community — east of the river, west of the river, north and south, coming together," Roach said. "That is tremendous thing to see how this community pulled together."

Friend Ships provides local aid to shelter more than 700 mattresses as well as hundreds of pillows and blankets...

The local aid organization Friend Ships Unlimited loaned the shelter more than 700 mattresses, as well as hundreds of pillows and blankets. The items were donated by a cruise ship and slated to be delivered to Haiti, according to Mary Pearce, the group’s port director.  Local businesses and area residents donated food and water.  Some workers, like Lake Charles Fire Chief David Manuel, brought evacuees home for the night.  Nurses and emergency medical technicians tended to the elderly and those with special needs.

   Three evacuees were sent to the hospital because they could not be properly cared for in the Civic Center, Gremillion said.  Calcasieu Parish Animal Control officials arranged for veterinarians and volunteers to pick up animals from evacuees. Many animals were stored in private back yards overnight and returned to their out-of-town owners Thursday.


Please consider a financial gift for this effort.  Funds donated will be used to help us help victims of Hurricane Ivan in the most effective way.  Because we own and operate our own ships, Friend Ships is glad to take donations of both goods and funds.  The entire Friend Ships staff is composed of unpaid volunteers so your gift goes far to meet needs and makes a great impact!

If you would like to donate funds for this effort, (click here - Please specify in the comments "Ivan").  If you would like more information, click here to email or call "Port Mercy" at (337) 433-5022.  Together we can be a blessing to people in need!

Updated September 2004
 

 

Park West Children's Fund, Inc., a.k.a. Friend Ships, is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit charity in the state of California. Any use of materials, logos, or the names of Park West Children's Fund, Inc., and Friend Ships, without prior written consent is prohibited.  Jan. 1999

HURRICANE IVAN, M/V Hope preparing to help victims of Hurricane Ivan.

HURRICANE IVAN, M/V Hope preparing to help victims of Hurricane Ivan.

HURRICANE IVAN, M/V Hope preparing to help victims of Hurricane Ivan.

HURRICANE IVAN, M/V Hope preparing to help victims of Hurricane Ivan.

HURRICANE IVAN, M/V Hope preparing to help victims of Hurricane Ivan.

HURRICANE IVAN, M/V Hope preparing to help victims of Hurricane Ivan.

HURRICANE IVAN, M/V Hope preparing to help victims of Hurricane Ivan.

HURRICANE IVAN, M/V Hope preparing to help victims of Hurricane Ivan.

HURRICANE IVAN, M/V Hope preparing to help victims of Hurricane Ivan.

HURRICANE IVAN, M/V Hope preparing to help victims of Hurricane Ivan.

HURRICANE IVAN, M/V Hope preparing to help victims of Hurricane Ivan.

HURRICANE IVAN, M/V Hope preparing to help victims of Hurricane Ivan.

HURRICANE IVAN, M/V Hope preparing to help victims of Hurricane Ivan.

HURRICANE IVAN, M/V Hope preparing to help victims of Hurricane Ivan.

HURRICANE IVAN, M/V Hope preparing to help victims of Hurricane Ivan.

HURRICANE IVAN, M/V Hope preparing to help victims of Hurricane Ivan.

HURRICANE IVAN, M/V Hope preparing to help victims of Hurricane Ivan.

HURRICANE IVAN, M/V Hope preparing to help victims of Hurricane Ivan.

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