Victims in Little Falls, New Jersey, asked for help from Intl. WeLoveU Foundation

Category-4 Hurricane Ida, which was the second last category on the Saffir-Simpson scale, hit the southern U.S, accompanied by strong winds and heavy rainfalls on August 29 (in the local time). House roofs and street trees were blown away by the 5th strongest hurricane in history of the U.S., and electricity unprecedentedly shut down in about one million households in the States of Louisiana and Mississippi. Then, Hurricane Ida moved to the northeastern U.S. and in early September, it poured out heavy rains upon New York City and parts of New Jersey. As a result, houses in low-lying areas and low-rise houses were flooded, and dozens of people who lived in those places unfortunately lost their lives.

The houses in Little Falls, New Jersey, looked horrifying after the hurricane swept over them. The furniture and walls inside the houses were covered with dirt because dirt and garbage flowed into them due to the heavy rains; household goods were all broken. As there was no one to clean up the mess, even the goods that could be washed or wiped were lying around in the houses. While every victim was sighing without finding measures they could take, more than 140 members from the Intl. WeLoveU Foundation(Chairwoman Zahng Gil-jah) chapter in eastern U.S. came to Little Falls with cleaning tools on September 5. Actually, the residents of Little Falls suffered similar damage from a hurricane in 2018, and the WeLoveU helped with repairing houses back then. Remembering the WeLoveU’s heartfelt recovery efforts, they first requested for help to the WeLoveU.

Chairman of Little Falls Council Anthony Sgobba said to the WeLoveU members, “Thank you so much for coming once again. This time, many more places need help from all of you, compared with three years ago.”

Strenuous recovery efforts while comforting and encouraging the victims

In order to give a helping hand to a lot more households, the WeLoveU members were divided into teams and started to work. Furniture in low-rise houses, which had been flooded, were wet with moisture and covered with dirt, and so they were unusable. The members took the unusable furniture out from the houses. They carried bulky furniture together, and carried small furniture of a large quantity by standing in a line and passing the goods to one another. After all the furniture got out of the houses, house floors were revealed, being covered with dirt.

Plywood walls of one house were scattered all over the place, which resembled a construction site. The members shed beads of sweat, picking up all the scattered materials and wastes; all the while, they gave a warm hug to the victims who were in despair, and did not miss out on consoling their hearts.

The WeLoveU members said, “It is not easy for the victims themselves to clean up their houses. We wish our little efforts to be a help for restoring the devastated houses.”

That day, they cleaned up about 4,500 kg [9,920 lbs] of wastes while helping with restoring 12 households.

It will take time for everything to get back normal. The WeLoveU members will feel very rewarding if the victims feel some comfort and regain strength to get back to their daily life. The WeLoveU will continue to convey hope to our neighbors by speedily visiting wherever their help is needed.