It has been two long weeks for Donaldsonville Mayor Leroy Sullivan.
After weathering Hurricane Ida at his West Bank home, Sullivan spent the next few days bringing community leaders together and working with other officials to provide aid to his town.
It was still there on Sunday. He said he spoke to federal, state and local authorities and agencies about providing assistance to his residents and helped distribute food and supplies provided by many groups and agencies, including several elected officials. representing the region.
Sullivan spoke to an Entergy representative on Sunday who said all power outage reports from city officials and residents have been made. The mayor said the work will continue until every resident and every business has the power.
Sullivan said 100% of Donaldsonville residents were without power thanks to Ida. He estimates the city has seen winds of up to 100 mph.
“Most importantly, there has been no loss of life in the West Bank,” he said.
Sullivan said it was important to clear debris from the roads and help people find a safe place to take shelter in the first days after the storm.
A shelter was set up at Lowery Middle School before the storm and people in need of more temporary accommodation were moved to a shelter in Gonzales.
“There were so many downed trees,” Sullivan said. “As I was driving through the city, I saw damaged roofs, destroyed fences, and downed trees everywhere.”
The Donaldsonville Fire Department conducted a citywide damage assessment. Sullivan said many homes are covered in blue tarps as they wait for a chance to repair roof damage, a major issue for city residents.
Many residents felt called to service.
“I tried to be a light in the middle of the storm,” Justice of the Peace Tamiko Francis Garrison said.
“We were meeting the basic needs of others despite our own disasters at home. We served from sunrise to sunset – some from sunset to sunrise – to make sure the citizens of Westside of Ascension Parish had what they needed to survive. “
She said her parents set her example and taught her the importance of community service and that businesses do their best to stay open.
Garrison said his cousin Reverend Timothy Campbell cooked jambalaya at St. Phillip’s Baptist Church in Modeste for 200 people.
Sidney A. Marchand III, a resident of Donaldsonville, reported that the Marcello gas station and convenience store used a generator to keep their pumps open when most gasoline outlets in the area were closed for about a week. He congratulated the Marcellos for their initiative.
“The response from the community was so great that two sheriff’s deputies were there day and night to keep order, as there were cars lined up in blocks and hundreds lined up with gas cans in hand. “Marchand said in an email.
Sullivan said he was out every day and night to help distribute food and supplies and to work with agencies and volunteers providing aid in the city.
Oklahoma National Guardsmen dispatched several days to provide water, ice and other supplies. The Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank was in town providing food and the Federal Emergency Management Agency was in town Sunday and Monday helping people sign up for hurricane help. On Sunday, a woman from Opelousas was cooking red beans and rice, barbecued chickens and other foods for residents.
“There are just too many to list, but we are so blessed by the influx of help that we have seen,” Sullivan said. “It all shows how people have come together to help those in need. “