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Saints owner Gayle Benson donates $1 million in hurricane relief

Michael Smith tells Michael Holley that he believes the New Orlean Saints can beat out the Super Bowl champions for the NFC South crown with Jameis Winston starting.

Hurricane Ida inflicted heavy damage in and around New Orleans after making landfall this weekend and Saints owner Gayle Benson has announced a donation to help the city’s recovery.

Benson and the Saints announced that they have activated their Gulf Coast Renewal Fund with a $1 million donation from Benson. They also announced that FEMA has accepted an offer to use the team’s facility to help support their work in the city.

“We know there is much work to be done to restore power and other infrastructure,” the team said in a statement. “We have been in touch with government leaders at every level to offer any assistance we can, including the use of any of our facilities -- all of which have sustained only superficial damage. FEMA has accepted that offer and will be using portions of our Ochsner Sports Performance Center to stage their assistance efforts.”

The Superdome also avoided serious damage and the team said it will return there as soon as community leaders say it is safe to do so. As of now, it is unclear if that will happen in time for a Week One home date against the Packers to go off as planned.