LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - There are many relief organizations in Southwest Louisiana offering free supplies in this time of crisis, but one of those programs has been helping people get back in their homes for years.
Howard Duhon has called Lake Charles home for 60 years, but he says Hurricane Laura was devastating.
“Well I saw what Rita did, and I was small but I remember hurricane Audrey too,” Duhon said. “I pass on 210 and look south, and it looks like all the trees are gone. There’s no green anymore. Then you see the damage to things that have been here forever. They survived storms but they didn’t survive this one.”
Duhon considers himself blessed, Laura only peeling off his roof and destroying his patio.
“There’s not even any debris, it’s gone.”
That’s when he applied for FEMA and the US Army Corps of Engineers’ Operation Blue Roof.
Maj. Gen. Diana Holland with the US Army Corps of Engineers says the roofs do exactly what they need to.
“So it’s a 0.4 millimeter membrane, reinforced membrane,” Gen. Holland said. “His home will be protected, and the property inside will not face further damage.”
The material is thicker than your average tarp, and it’s installed by professionals. The best part of it all, it’s free.
Operation Blue Roof aims to protect property and get people into their homes faster.
Duhon’s home is the first in Southwest Louisiana to get its blue roof as part of the project, but there are many more to come.
“The response here has been excellent, couldn’t ask for better,” Duhon said. “I know they’re going to be right on it, from one to another. They are going to be busy.”
Gen. Holland says many homes in SWLA meet the requirements for Operation Blue Roof.
“Many of the roofs we’ve seen, that I’ve flown over and that I’ve driven by, would qualify for this program.”