In mid-August, an unusual storm hovered over Baton Rouge, dropping more than 7 trillion gallons of water. The storm, described by residents as a “500-year flood,” resulted in the nearby Amite River cresting higher than ever recorded in history. According to the Red Cross, more than 160,000 homes were damaged.
Many of the thousands who took refuge in Red Cross shelters had lost their homes and belongings, escaping with only the clothes they wore. As the recovery process began, those who had lost their eyewear found it difficult to navigate unfamiliar surroundings, read posted signs, or complete the paperwork needed to receive relief or find new housing.
To help the community recover, the VSP Mobile Eyes clinic provided no-cost eye exams and glasses for more than 500 adults and children who had lost their eyewear in the flooding. With an onboard lab, many even received their glasses the same day. The clinic spent 8 days at a Red Cross shelter and another 5 days at the doctors’ offices closed due to damage from the storm, providing a place to practice for 9 VSP doctors during the recovery effort.
Dr. Chris Wroten of Bond-Wroten Eye Clinic shared his story of the devastation to his practice and how his community is recovering.
Some of these eye doctors who were affected by the floods are continuing to provide no-cost eye care for their community this World Sight Day through VSP Mobile Eyes. Learn more about the VSP Mobile Eyes outreach in New Orleans this week.