A sense of community is the common denominator behind a couple of local businesses teaming up to aid victims swamped by 15 inches of water that hit Carencro and other areas of Acadiana Monday.
Courtesy Ford Lincoln in Breaux Bridge and Ranch Outlet in north Lafayette are official drop locations for the Disaster Relief Supply Drive.
Some of the items needed are cleaning supplies, personal hygiene items, and first aid items.
“We really feel for the people of Carencro and the outlying areas that got floodwaters in their homes,” says April Kleinpeter, general sales manager at Courtesy. “Acadiana has a huge heart and we want to open ours and ask [residents] to open theirs to help these people out anyway they can.”
Tools, a sometimes overlooked item in times like these, are also needed.
“A lot of people are cutting out drywall right now,” Kleinpeter says “Anything that they would need to rip out their carpets or drywall.”
“So, anything we can do to help out, we definitely want to do,” she says.
A resident of Carencro, Kleinpeter saw firsthand the damage the high water wrought.
“I live in Carencro and the water was up to my front porch,” says Kleinpeter. “Thankfully, it didn’t get in the house, but a lot of these people, it’s not even considered a flood zone where they live and they got one- to two-feet of water in their home.”
Kleinpeter had to carefully pick and choose her route home Monday after the deluge.
“I had to look for several different ways to get around and actually had to go through some pretty high water to get there,” she says. “It’s heartbreaking to see what these people have lost. And the images on the way home were just jaw-dropping.”
Courtesy is also contributing to the drive
“We already went out and purchased supplies to put in our box,” she says. “And once the boxes are filled up, we’re going to drop them off.”
Winston Richard is the general manager of Ranch Outlet, which sits within a stone’s throw of Carencro.
“We did okay, the store did,” says Richard. “But up the street didn’t.”
Like the dealership, in addition to drop-off boxes, Ranch Outlet is also contributing to the relief drive.
“We just want to help out and give back to the community,” says Richard. “I know the community’s down and needs help. People are less fortunate than we are.”
Richard wants the residents who suffered high water to “keep their spirits up” as the community rallies to assist them.
“We know it’s hard to do that at this time, but there is help out there and we want to help anyway we can,” Richard says. “This is just one way we can do it. It’s so unfortunate that so many of them are stricken like that.
“I have employees here that have lost everything, “ he says. “We feel their loss and want to make sure that they’re getting all the help they can.”
Richard’s home near Cankton was not damaged but the road to it just opened Thursday.
“I was fortunate but I have neighbors around me who weren’t,” he says. “I’ve been there 53 years and I’ve never seen this amount of water.”
Items may be dropped off through Saturday, March 31 at Courtesy Ford Lincoln in Breaux Bridge: 2022T Rees Street, Breaux Bridge and Ranch Outlet 3324 NE Evangeline Thwy., Lafayette.
For more information on the drive and for a complete list of items needed, go here