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Congressman Ralph Abraham

Representing the 5th District of Louisiana

Abraham Highlights Alexandria Mega Shelter in House Speech

September 12, 2017
Press Release

WASHINGTON - Congressman Ralph Abraham, M.D., R-Alto, today praised the efforts of the staff and volunteers at the Alexandria Mega Shelter for their response following Hurricane Harvey. The speech can be viewed on YouTube here.

The prepared remarks are as follows:

Mr. Speaker,

I rise today to highlight the incredible work performed by those running the Alexandria Mega Shelter in my district during the Hurricane Harvey evacuation.

In Louisiana, we know too well how devastating hurricanes and flooding can be. When our neighbors in Texas needed help, Louisiana answered the call.

At it’s peak, the Alexandria Mega Shelter housed 1,800 people displaced by Hurricane Harvey. I visited with some of the victims and the workers, and I wanted to share with you some of the amazing work that went on there.

The shelter provided a roof and bed for people whose homes flooded, but as a doctor, I was most impressed with the medical response I saw at the shelter.

On short notice, local health care providers banded together to set up a clinic to meet the health needs of displaced people, including dialysis patients who could not miss treatments. The clinic allowed most patients to be treated in-house, making their stay at the shelter easier that it might have been otherwise.

Additionally, the shelter was able to send about 1,800 pounds of donated medications to patients in Beaumont where people were struggling in the aftermath of the storm to get the medicines they needed. Local pilots donated their time and resources to fly these badly-needed medicines from Alexandria to Beaumont where they could be used to help people.

I want to specifically mention the efforts of the Louisiana National Guard, the Louisiana State Police, including Superintendent Kevin Reeves and his troopers, Rapides Parish Sheriff William Earl Hilton and his deputies, and Azar Kayal and his staff at the Louisiana Department of Public Safety for their role in assisting the people at the shelter.

I also want to mention Dr. Spencer Tucker, Dr. Emily Spith Grezzafi, Laura Pickett, Melinda Sanders, Nici English, Dr. David Holcombe and all those with the Louisiana Department of Health, emergency responders and local pharmacies who helped meet the medical needs of the people displaced at the shelter.

Recovery from Harvey will be difficult, and now our prayers are also with our friends in Florida who are dealing with Irma. As tragic as these storms can be, they also tend to bring out the best in Americans, who always answer the call to serve and help those who are suffering.

Thank you to all those at the Alexandria Mega Shelter who welcomed these displaced people in their time of need and, hopefully, made their ordeal little bit better.

Thank you Mr. Speaker. I yield back."