Laura made landfall in Cameron, Louisiana, as a Category 4 major hurricane early on Thursday, August 27, 2020. The storm brought heavy rain, dangerous storm surge, and sustained wind speeds of up to 150 mph. According to the National Hurricane Center, parts of Texas and Louisiana were expected to see “catastrophic wind damage.” The storm surge could also reach up to 30 miles inland and impact areas from Sea Rim State Park, Texas, to Intracoastal City, Louisiana, including Calcasieu and Sabine Lakes.
Although Laura was downgraded to a tropical storm as it moved inland, it continues to unleash heavy rain and strong winds, raising concerns of flash flooding and the possibility of tornadoes. The storm is currently moving northeast at 15 mph, with sustained wind of 65 mph, and is expected to become a tropical depression as it passes through Arkansas overnight.
The extent of the damage is not yet known, but four deaths have already been reported along with extensive damage, especially in Lake Charles, Louisiana, which is home to multiple petrochemical plants. In addition, hundreds of thousands are still without power.
As search and rescue teams, disaster response, and other agencies respond to this historic storm, CERF+ stands ready to respond to an increase in applications for emergency financial assistance and recovery-related resources. We’re reaching out to our network of artists and arts organizations to let them know that we’ll be here for them before, during, and after the waters recedes.
Additionally, we are inviting our community of supporters and friends to join us in the response effort by donating to CERF+.
In the past five years, CERF+ has provided more than 600 artists with a total of $1.7 million emergency financial assistance. If you would like to donate to the CERF+ Disaster Fund, follow this link to our secure online giving page and select please use my gift for disaster relief from the drop-down menu. It’s easy to do and only takes a minute. Your support will allow us to help artists build back stronger after the rains stop and the waters recede.