UNICEF is working with current and potential partners to help children and families devastated by Hurricane Laura, one of the strongest storms ever to hit the Gulf Coast.
Hurricane Laura barreled ashore in Cameron, Louisiana, about 35 miles from the Texas border, early on the morning of August 27, with maximum sustained wind speeds of 150 miles per hour and a wall of water. Coastal towns flooded and homes were destroyed.
The storm raced northward across the state, leaving a trail of destruction and at least ten people dead. Nearly 900,000 homes and businesses lost power; tens of thousands were left without safe drinking water. Communities in Texas and Arkansas have also been affected by the storm, which weakened as it moved inland but remains a threat. Heavy rains and flash flood warnings continue throughout the region.
WPC is issuing advisories on Tropical Depression Laura as it still poses a flooding threat for the Tennessee Valley down to the Central Gulf Coast. The advisories can be found here: https://t.co/xPlDMUxJ0K pic.twitter.com/wbypCX8rRw— NWS WPC (@NWSWPC) August 28, 2020
In Louisiana, UNICEF is coordinating with local, child-focused organzations including the Louisiana Partnership for Children and Families, Agenda for Children, Children's Coalition for Northeast Louisiana, Boys and Girls Clubs of Louisiana to respond to the needs of communities in crisis. Hurricane Laura has left families and children with an urgent need for food; similar to its other hurricane relief efforts, UNICEF is supporting the efforts of World Central Kitchen to make food accessible to families and children in Lake Charles, La. and other communities hard-hit by the hurricane.
In Texas, UNICEF is working with a collaborative of community-based organizations led by Children at Risk, and other partners. When Hurricane Harvey slammed into Texas and Louisiana in 2017, killing more than 75 people and causing billions of dollars in damage, UNICEF was on the ground, working with partners to provide counseling services for traumatized children and deliver educational materials to students and teachers whose schools were damaged or destroyed.
Top photo: A man carries a child on his back as he walks to board a bus for evacuation before the arrival of Hurricane Laura in Lake Charles, Louisiana on August 25, 2020. © Photo by Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images