Robin Roberts, GMA visit hurricane-ravaged SWLA

Updated: Oct. 22, 2020 at 9:06 PM CDT
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LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - As Southwest Louisiana continues to recover from two major back-to-back hurricanes, the resiliency and strength behind the hashtag #SWLAStrong hasn’t gone unnoticed.

ABC’s Good Morning America traveled to Lake Charles today to shed light on the long road ahead and those helping to make a difference.

For most people in Southwest Louisiana, it feels as if it was just yesterday when Hurricane Laura left most of everything they know and love unrecognizable.

Nearly two months later, the work needed to rebuild is far from over.

“Any other year, this would be a headline story still, two storms hitting within six weeks of each other.”

Longtime Good Morning America host Robin Roberts, along with KPLC alum and ABC meteorologist Rob Marciano, made the long trek south to see the damage firsthand.

“I went through Hurricane Katrina,” Roberts said. “I know what it’s like to have a large area affected that you can’t just go to the next town because they’re as bad off as you are. Now we are here and we want to bring the help.”

It’s help that is desperately needed - even for those who make it a mission to help the community when there aren’t remnants of a Category 4 or 2 hurricane on every corner.

GMA teamed up with Feeding America to donate a truckload of supplies and $500,000 to help local food banks like Care Help of Sulphur.

There’s still a long road ahead for Southwest Louisiana.

Local student Tyree Brown is having to start over at a brand new school in hopes of living out a long time dream.

“I play football, I love football and Washington-Marion wasn’t going to have a football team,” Brown said. “So I had to pick a new school and I picked St. Louis.”

It’s stories like Brown’s that serve as an example of the faith and resiliency behind the words #SWLAStrong.

“That just tells you how resilient the kids are here,” Roberts said. “Here we are and they’re back at school again. That tells me about the indomitable spirit of Southwest Louisiana.”

“As much as the people here are good, giving and fun, this is a tough time and they need to know that America is with them and I hope today they got that message.”

For the next 24 hours, Feeding America will be accepting donations that will go to replenish food banks in our area that were severely impacted by hurricanes Laura and Delta.

To donate, click here.

Every dollar donated will go directly to hurricane disaster relief.

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