BATON ROUGE – In August 2016, prolonged rainfall centered in the Baton Rouge metro area resulted in catastrophic flooding that submerged an estimated 146,000 houses and businesses and killed thirteen people. The “no-name storm” drenched the area with over three times the amount of rain that fell in Louisiana during Hurricane Katrina – enough to fill Lake Pontchartrain almost four times over. Many of the homes and businesses affected were not considered to be in high flood risk areas, and thus lacked flood insurance.
The St. Bernard Project (SBP) of South Louisiana is a nonprofit organization and Domain MyCommunity partner that works to shrink the time between natural disasters and recovery. Founded in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, since 2006 SBP has directly rebuilt homes for more than 1,200 families with the help of more than 150,000 volunteers.
Following the storm and subsequent flooding, SBP opened an office in the Baton Rouge area. As part of the 2017 National Volunteer Week, six Domain employees from Baton Rouge properties and the New Orleans corporate office volunteered with SBP to help rebuild the home of Ms. Birtha Mason.
Ms. Mason is a longtime resident of Baton Rouge who raised her three children and takes care of her disabled brother in her home, which was extensively damaged in the flood. She is a retiree from Earl K. Long Hospital living on a fixed income, and, like most in the area, lacked flood insurance. To aid her recovery, Domain employees removed damaged flooring and installed new, wood flooring in its place.
“The Domain Companies generosity of spirit has brought us so much closer to bringing Mrs. Mason home, and we are so grateful for that,” said Shannon Livaudais, Volunteer Coordinator for SBP, “Thank you so much for volunteering with SBP!”
While this was but one portion of a much larger recovery for Baton Rouge, Domain is very pleased to have helped Ms. Mason. By July 2017, SBP completed the repairs and she and her brother are both back in their home!
Visit sbpusa.org or call 504.473.5560 for more information about volunteer opportunities with the St. Bernard Project.