After the Flood

Women of the Flood: A Narrative by Shelly

My sweet husband is off of work today. Before he left to run an errand he asked me what I would like to do today??? What?? I thought everyday was automatic – work on our flooded home. I answered that I did not have anything in mind. Well, I thought about it after he left and I have an answer. (more…)

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After the Flood: As Winter Approaches, Some Still Live in Tents

It has been four months since the August flood in southeast Louisiana, and while many victims have been able to get back into their homes, there are still those whose situation has not changed since August. The two Facebook posts were shared last week and serve as a stark reminder that there is still much to be done in Louisiana (and the same can be said of the Iowa and North Carolina flood victims, and the Tennessee wildfire victims):

From Shelly: For friends and family that live out of our flood area there is still need for prayer. The temperatures in Baton Rouge will be dropping in the 20’s this coming weekend. There are still families living in tents from the flood. Many in homes with no insulation or drywall yet. If a flood victim had flood insurance they are still waiting on their mortgage companies to release the funds. There is a lot of red tape in receiving the insurance funds you worked and paid for. If a person gets their funds then they get in line to wait on a contractor that is already overbooked. Many, many have a long road ahead and winter is here. Please pray for provision, warmth, and safety for these families.

Todd shared the following images from Shannon:

This is not an isolated case. There are many people still living in tents. In December. It will drop to freezing Thurs and Fri night [of last week].

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After the Flood: Families In Need of Trustworthy Contractors

The Great Flood of 2016 is long gone, the waters having receded back to the bayous, rivers, and canals of southeast Louisiana. Yet, almost four months after the waters’ retreat, citizens daily face new and reoccurring challenges as they seek to return to some sense of normalcy.

Charles Dickens’ opening line of A Tale of Two Cities is quite telling of southeast Louisiana: “It [is] the best of times, it [is] the worst of times.” (more…)

Character in the Midst of Crisis: A Thank You to Todd Whirley

Tragedy is no stranger to humanity. It does not discriminate, impacting everyone who lives and breathes. Just as tragedies vary in mode and kind, so do individuals’ responses to what befalls them. It is said that crisis reveals character, and in the case of Todd Whirley, the Great Flood of 2016 has revealed to many flood victims and relief workers a man of strength, perseverance, and sacrifice.

Todd Whirley

Todd Whirley

Todd Whirley is the Executive Pastor of New Covenant Church in Denham Springs. New Covenant is located at the corner of Florida Blvd and N. Hummell St. Just about a half mile from the church is the antique district where there was roughly seven feet of water in the height of the flood; yet, New Covenant and surrounding businesses did not get any water – one of the very few areas of Denham Springs not affected by water. Todd Whirley took advantage of the church’s unique situation and turned the church into a disaster relief command center. (more…)

Awash with emotions: A Narrative by Shelly McDonald

The town of Denham Springs is like a ghost town with only a few residents left.  Debris lines the roads in Denham Springs and Baton Rouge.  It is a huge task for the waste management companies to pick up the debris near tens of thousands of homes and businesses.  Flooded vehicles remain in home and business parking lots if the water did not wash them elsewhere.  Mud caked water lines lets passersby view how high the water got in any area.  The scene is otherworldly. (more…)

“Living in a Storage Shed”: A Narrative by Todd Whirley

Todd Whirley is the associate pastor of New Covenant Church in Denham Springs. Located in the center of town, New Covenant is one of the very few places that did not flood. Further, New Covenant is located right by some if the areas with the worst flooding, giving the church a unique opportunity to serve their community through disaster relief. During the flood, Todd was one of the the go-to persons in coordinating rescue efforts, communication with various churches about the location of members, and setting up a donation center in the church’s ample fellowship wing. Todd has continued serving the community of Denham Springs through tireless efforts of sharing updates, meeting with those in need, and getting the news out about what’s going on in flood-impacted Louisiana.

Todd shared the story below this morning on Facebook. In this story, Todd relays his encounter with a single mother who is living in a storage shed. Her story is like that of many others who have lost their homes, jobs, and vehicles due to the flood: (more…)

Stories After the Flood: Debris Still Dominates the Landscape

AIt’s been about three weeks since the flood that inundated much of SE Louisiana. By this point, most  have gutted and cleaned out their homes and businesses. Yet, as I type this post, one matter of the clean up process has not progressed – the picking up of the debris. The video below is from a childhood friend, Ben Smith, as he drove through his neighborhood yesterday (9/1). (more…)