Monday, October 24, 2005

Katrina Disaster Response - Bihn's Story

Our most memorable moment from the last trip out to Biloxi, MS was meeting a Vietnamese man named Bihn (Ben) and his family.

Bihn and his family owned a shrimp boat and rode out the storm in a canal approximately 10 miles from the coast. Many of us on the disaster relief teams remember passing over a bridge and seeing several boats on the shorline of a canal. It was in this canal that Bihn and a total of 10 people on his 70' shrimp boat waited out hurricane Katrina. Bihn's boat along with 5 other boats all lashed together faced the onslaught of Katrina for more than 12 hours in that canal.

After the storm they had to wait for three and a half weeks before being rescued and returning to dock. That three and a half week period was quite an ordeal because many people who also waited out the storm in the canal died, and those that survived had to wait amongst those that died for that long period of time.

We were quite touched by Bihn and his story. You can read the extended version on my Katrina Disaster Relief blog.

Alan LeStourgeon

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Road to the casino - Biloxi

Many who gambled and stayed in their coastal homes during Hurricane Katrina paid with their lives...

Some of the devastation - "The Point" Biloxi

Several deaths occured in this area of Biloxi. Storm surge cleared this home down to the concrete slab and stairs...

Alan & Friends from St Augustine

Alan LeSturgeon and 2 members of the St Augustine PCA church, on the road to deliver supplies and aid to the victims of northern Gulfport. During this trip, we found a older woman trapped in her trailer by trees. We were the first people she saw since the storm hit. This day was my highlight of the entire week. -George Schimmek

Biloxi area known as "The Point"

One of the hardest hit areas of Biloxi. Storm surge destroyed this entire neighborhood.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Roger from South Carolina

This guy was a bundle of energy and could work most younger guys into the ground. He was always positive and came to minister to the victims all by himself all the way from South Carolina.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

A Shining Beacon of Christ's Love

First Presbyterian Church of Biloxi was one of the staging points for the PCA's Disaster Response efforts. This church managed the food & supply distribution center (serving hundreds of families each day) and coordinated the work response teams (from several PCA churches, including CPC.) This church was the "hands & feet" of Jesus Christ in this region of Biloxi.

Installing New (But Temporary) Blue Roofs

One of the many tarp-jobs performed by the CPC team in the Biloxi & Gulfport regions.

Biloxi's Beaches

This is a picture of the Gulf beaches in Biloxi, right across the street from 1st Presbyterian Church of Biloxi. Everything imaginable could be found on the beach - bath tubs, boom boxes, frozen (but thawing) chickens, video game machines, window treatments, major appliances, an aligator, etc.

Subdivision Ravaged by Katrina's Winds

This entire subdivision in Gulfport was less that two years old. Nonetheless, the homes were no match for Katrina's winds. Most houses in the new subdivision had severe wind damage. Like the one in this picture, most homes had one or both gable-ends completely blown out by the wind. This often led to the collapsing of interior ceilings, with attic insulation blown everywhere. (The white insulation throughout the subdivision looked like the first winter snowfall.) Also, notice the garage door which was crumpled like an aluminum can.

One of Our Biggest Tree-Removal Jobs

One of our largest tree-removal jobs included removing two large 24" pine trees from the roof of a former elder of 1st Presbyterian Church of Gulfport (pictured below on the right.) After cutting up the bottom tree (which was resting upon the tree that crashed into the house), the top section of the top tree was removed, and the bottom section was pulled from the roof/house with one of the team trucks. (Go big blue!)

CPC's First Response Team

The first of several teams sent out by CPC to respond to the disaster in the Biloxi & Gulfport regions of Mississippi. This team consisted of (from left to right): Brian, Gaston, Nathan, Keith, Tim, Vince, Kent, and Mark (not in picture.) The team left CPC on 9/3 (5 days after Katrina made landfall.) Half of the team returned on 9/7, and the remaining half remained until 9/10 (or beyond.) During this one-week period, the work team assisted over 20 home-owners with tree-removal, temporary roof tarping, and furniture & carpet removal (from the flooding.) Keith assisted in the set-up and operation of the supply distribution center at 1st Presbyterian Church of Biloxi (PCA.)

Friday, September 16, 2005

Residents of Biloxi seeking aid

Here a University of Florida student, who came along with 16 of her fellow students, interviews a couple who lost everything they owned. At First Presbyterian Church of Biloxi a Food and supplies distribution center was setup to serve the people of Biloxi. The center was setup to help the residents by asking them how many people they need food for, any special needs (infants, diabetic, etc.), and needs for clothing. The center provided basic necessities - water, food, toiletries, and a change of clothes (especially clean [new] underwear).

Biloxi By the Shore - A Missing Home

Just west of the First Presbyterain Church of Biloxi five homes were destroyed by the tidal surge that came with the 140 mile + winds of Katrina.