The St. Bernard Project, a non-profit organization founded to build and restore homes for people displaced by damage from Hurricane Katrina, had planned a “24-hour build” for August 28 and 29 to commemorate the mega-storm’s seventh anniversary. But with Hurricane Isaac bearing down on the Gulf Coast, the group instead secured the homes they have currently under construction and called occupants of houses they’ve already built to ask whether they needed any help to prepare for new storm’s anticipated high winds and flooding.
“We boarded up windows,” said Liz McCarthy, who—along with Zack Rosenberg, founded the St. Bernard Project in 2006. “We called past and current clients to see if they needed assistance getting out of the area or prepping for the storm.”
Today they’re beginning to assess the damage from Isaac, which is reported to have dumped as much as 20 inches of rain in the area during a 36-hour period. While improved levees around New Orleans, reinforced by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in the aftermath of Katrina, are reported to have withstood Issac’s test, those in Plaquemines Parish, southeast of New Orleans, have been overtopped by flood waters.
The St. Bernard Project website today carries an urgent request for donations to carry on its rebuilding effort and respond to needs created by the latest hurricane. The site also posts an employment ad for a fulltime construction superintendent, offering a competitive salary and benefits. Volunteers with construction trade skills are also welcome.
The St. Bernard’s Parish Project has built and restored 445 homes in the Greater New Orleans area since its founding in 2006.