Huge Fallen Trees

Dianne DeHerrera of Albuquerque stands beside a large fallen tree in the quake of Hurricane Laura in Louisiana. DeHerrera is a volunteer with the New Mexico Baptist Disaster Relief team that deployed Sept. 5.

ALBUQUERQUE (BNM) - New Mexico Baptist Disaster Relief deployed teams and resources to Mauriceville, Texas, in response to Hurricane Laura. The Mobile Recovery/Cleanup trailer, Mobile Laundry Trailer and Mobile Shower Trailer deployed on Sept. 5 with 19 volunteer crew members.

The Recovery/Cleanup trailer carries chainsaws, tools and supplies necessary for the assignment. Under the leadership of Blue Hat Larry Schmidt of Ruidoso, the chainsaw crews' task is to assist residents with tree and debris removal.

The six-stall shower trailer affords crew members a hot shower after a day of work in the hot and humid climate. On-demand water heaters supply ample hot water. The trailer also has two stackable washers and dryers to wash towels. The shower trailer can handle overflow from the laundry trailer if needed.

The laundry team washes the crews' work clothes, which allows them to bring fewer clothes, yet have clean ones each day. The laundry trailer, equipped with four washers and five dryers, can be powered by electricity or a generator if utilities are unavailable. 

"Prayer powers the deployment," said Schmidt as he asked for prayers for the mission. "I am sure glad He is in control." Speaking of his team, he continued, "We are all God's creation. If they did not love their fellow brothers and sisters, they would not be going out. And that's good."

Disaster Relief team members will comply with all coronavirus precautions and health mandates. Being compliant is necessary as they help residents recover from this disaster.

The category four hurricane made landfall in the early morning hours of Aug. 27. The storm created a path of destruction from the Louisiana Gulf Coast northward through Lake Charles to Shreveport. Located in Orange County, Mauriceville is on the Texas Louisiana border.

Additional relief teams from New Mexico will deploy in the coming weeks. The hurricane destruction was massive, and recovery will be a long-term effort.

To become an NMBDR volunteer, email to receive an invitation to online training and application instructions. 

Mary Jane Smith is a volunteer assignment writer with the Baptist New Mexican news journal and, news and information outlets for the Baptist Convention of New Mexico.

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