A group of six men from the Dallas-Fort Worth area traveled to Baton Rouge to assist flood victims over Labor Day weekend.
Luke Hejl told News 8 in a series of messages that the group departed from Colleyville Friday. Chris Clark, Justin Willingham, Ryan Bradley, Brent Hughes and Clint Wright are working with the Church of Christ Disaster Response Team.
The effort in Baton Rouge was headquartered at the South Baton Rouge Church of Christ.
Tens of thousands of homes were destroyed as historic flooding hit the state of Louisiana last month. Hejl and his fellow volunteers have been primarily worked on repairing homes, which he says were covered in “intense” amounts of mold.
The group of friends, most of whom attended Abilene Christian University together, documented the relief effort with a handful of Facebook Live videos.
“These houses have to be completely gutted,” Hejl wrote in a message to News 8. “Most of the homeowners didn't have any type of flood insurance, so they need everyone who has a little bandwidth in their life to find an organization to work with and come volunteer.”
One of the North Texans, Clint, went underneath a home in a hazmat suit for hours on Sunday. Hejl called Clint the “bravest of the bunch.”
Hejl said the Baton Rouge community, which saw over 22,000 structures destroyed in the flood, according to FEMA data cited by The Advocate, has embraced the volunteers. The Church of Christ group has gotten several thank yous, he said.
The group saw the amount of help needed in Louisiana, where some spots still haven't seen flood water recede weeks later, and decided to lend a hand. Hejl said he doesn't want the victims to be forgotten.
"Flood waters are no match for the strong will and passion of the people of the great state of Louisiana and I'm glad we were able to join them in the flood relief efforts," he said.
Clark, who Hejl said organized the North Texas-to-Louisiana dispatch, set up a GoFundMe page to raise money for the group's flood relief efforts.
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