LAKE CHARLES, Louisiana (KCAU) – What started as strangers golfing and grabbing coffee has turned into a decades-long partnership.
“They see you’re from Sioux City, and they fall all over themselves to help you,” Roger Caudron, a Krewe de Charlie Sioux member, said.
Sioux City and Lake Charles, Louisiana, created the Krewe de Charlie Sioux in 1995–a group to celebrate each other’s culture, economic growth, and people.
“The friendships that we’ve created through the organization and through the events–that’s the biggest piece of the puzzle,” Caudron said.
Now the Krewe is looking to return the favor for their friends in Lake charles in the wake of Hurricane Laura.
“Our costume master, who is the man responsible for all of our Mardia Gras costumes, ended up with a tree on his house,” Caudron said.
“We’ve heard their convention center, which is very much like our Tyson Center–they say that’s underwater,” former Sioux City Mayor Tom Padgett said.
Oil refineries in Lake Charles have also sustained heavy damage–a devastating blow to their economy.
“18 percent of all of the oil refineries are in Lake Charles–or the area around Lake Charles–for the country,” Caudron said.
Padgett says it’s not the first time the Krewe is planning to step up during a crisis.
“During [Hurricane] Rita, there were members of the Krewe who were teachers, and knew some of the things that the schools needed,” Padgett said.
“Members of the Krewe helped organize a couple of truckloads of relief products to go down,” Caudron said.
While it’s still unclear what assistance is needed after this disaster, Padgett and Caudron say they’re confident Sioux Citians will answer the call.
“I suspect that the community leaders will get together and come up with some kind of plan,” Padgett said.
“Bit harder now with COVID, just from the standpoint there’s still a shortage of paper goods. We’ll see what we can do. We love these folks very much, and we want to provide as much help as we can,” Caudron said.