KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) - Kansas City based Operation BBQ Relief is in Lake Charles, Louisiana right now preparing meals for families and first responders dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Laura. Many homes and businesses left behind still don’t have running water or electricity.

High-rise buildings with windows shattered and local business signs hanging on by a thread is what’s left of Hurricane Laura in Lake Charles, Louisiana.

Kansas City-based Operation BBQ Relief founder and CEO Stan Hays says the high temperatures, lack of electricity, running water and cell services is keeping people from driving back to see what’s left. Some didn’t have the means to escape the category four hurricane.

“In the middle of the storm with the winds and everything, the entire roof was peeled off,” Operation BBQ Relief Co-Founder and CEO Stan Hays said. “Definitely one of the most scary things that’s ever happened to them.”

Operation BBQ Relief is changing how it reaches out to the community because of the coronavirus.

“Trying to figure out how we do a food service line and make it safe, you have to social distance and all these things. The easiest thing is for us to go out into a neighborhood and take individual meals with us and hand them out in neighborhoods,” Hays said.

Sometimes neighbors find them.

“We’ve had a little mascot here until earlier today. A dog came to the camp a day and a half ago,” Hays said.

Now, he’s back with his owners after smelling bar-b-que for a few days.

“It’s a humbling feeling when somebody says thank you for something so little that you’ve done,” Hays said.

Hays is expecting 30,000 to 50,000 more thank you’s this weekend. He says when crews can get power, people will come home to see what’s left.

“A lot of times we get a lot of community support, and we’re not getting that because there are so many people gone right now,” Hays said.

Hays says volunteers are driving up to two hours to lend a hand.

If you would like to donate to Operation BBQ Relief, click here.

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