Sunday, August 31, 2008


For 1.1 million people, the thought of a picnic and fun filled three day holiday weekend, disappeared Friday as Hurricane Gustav became a real threat for the Gulf Coast. This is the largest evacuation in history in Southern LA. No one in the lines of traffic on I-10, I-55 and I-59 was cooking out on the grill, swimming, or playing. The fact that it was even a weekend escaped many. Now all are glued to the weather updates and news reports.

After 2 long days of preparations, our team started evacuation on Saturday evening and into Sunday Morning. We have now all safely relocated to Pensacola, where we have been warmly received by Grace Community Church.

Our team met late this afternoon for two hours to start working through the logistics of our return plan, and the response to the aftermath. We will be posting details tomorrow morning on our response plan, including how you can participate by giving, serving, or mobilizing needed supplies. We don't know what we will be going back to, but we know that there will be significant needs in Southern LA. We made contingency plans for our response, which we'll post tomorrow morning. As you watch the news report, please consider how you might be able to help. For more info, email

Late last evening the forecast looked liked it was going to come ashore as a '4', with storm surges in our home town of 15 feet. Our home is 8 feet above sea level. Mandatory evacuation was issued for areas south of I-12 effective 7am Sunday. Denise had already moved as much of our things as practical 'up', assuming we may see a foot of water in the house. As we heard of the pending evacuation and conditions, we told the kids to be sure that they had the most special of things with them, as we could not be sure what our home would look like when we came back. We then hit the road about midnight, in order to get ahead of the wave of traffic.

We stayed off the interstate highways, which we saw were clogged with cars heading out of town. We were fortunate to have timed things well. We got to Pensacola at 6am, with several stops and a brief sleep break. We were welcomed into a friends home, who had beds ready for us to crash.
After some rest, we met as a team for lunch, then some relaxation, as we expect that we will have some very long days ahead of us.

Mark L.
EFCA Crisis Response

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