Last Modified: Friday, April 25, 2014 12:32 PM
LifeShare Blood Centers in Lake Charles is asking the community to help raise money to construct a flood wall to help ensure a stable blood supply during hurricane disasters. Daphne Terral, LifeShare development director, said that during Hurricanes Rita and Ike the Lake Charles center, 214 Dr. Michael DeBakey Drive, was severely damaged as a result of flooding.
“It knocked out our facility after Rita for nine months and after Ike for five months,” Terral said. “It cost over $1 million to repair and replace equipment and supplies. We are trying to prevent that from ever happening again.”
Terral said the total cost to build the 4-foot flood wall is $715,000, but the Federal Emergency Management Agency and a pending Louisiana capital outlay request will cover a large portion. LifeShare is seeking $157,300 in local contributions to cover the remaining balance, she said.
To raise the needed funds, the center has kicked off a campaign called Count Me In, and is asking residents, businesses and organizations to support the effort.
Terral said the center is a second-tier first responder after emergencies, and it’s essential that the blood supply stay stabilized, especially after disasters. Future storms are expected to have an even greater effect because of coastal erosion, she said.
“The most feasible way to secure our center is to build a wall around the facility to protect it from those floodwaters,” Terral said.
She said people understand the importance of protecting the center and keeping the blood supply stabilized at all times. “Annually we collect over 22,000 units of blood in the Lake Charles area,” she said.
“Over 14,000 of those units are collected on mobile drives. So not only is our facility out of service once it’s been harmed, but also the opportunity to run those mobile blood drives is impacted because those have to be run from a facility.”
Terral said any amount given will be appreciated, and she is confident the people of Lake Charles will come through and help out.
LifeShare is hoping to begin construction on the wall by the end of the year, she said.
“I think the most important thing to remember is that this is a community blood center,” Terral said. “It’s not LifeShare’s blood center, it’s the community’s. And it does take the community to make us viable.”
For more information on the project or to make a financial contribution to help build the wall, visit www.lifeshare.org or call the development office at 318-651-4415 or the Lake Charles facility at 436-4932.
Posted By: Michael Tritico On: 4/26/2014
Title: root cause
The root cause of sea water flooding in Lake Charles, where it never happened before, is the straightening and deepening of the Calcasieu River for the benefit of petrochemical tankerships. Why not make the beneficiaries of the dredging pay, instead of further subsidizing them by making taxpayers take up the slack? The companies will refuse to acknowledge their responsibilities as long as local "leaders" keep worshipping them.