Snapshots of the Flood: Janice

Janice shares with us her snapshot of the Great Flood of 2016:

There was no warning sirens, no mandatory evacuation, no information. We are Chicago transplants living in Denham.
Never having gone through anything like this left us ill prepared to face what was coming.
By the time I walked my husband, daughter,granddaughter and 3 dogs to dry land the water was at our thighs.
By the time I went back to get my son and my 10 other dogs it was to my chest.

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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…)

Snapshots of the Flood: Randy

Today’s snapshot of the flood comes from Randy:

Like many others, the rain did not stop and it soon became apparent that I had to get my family out of our home that was soon to be flooded. Luckily I had a 4×4 vehicle high enough to get out.
Fortunately I had flood insurance, but they are not paying what my contractors want to fix my home. FEMA has been a complete joke as they will not provide housing assistance as I’ve had to move my family into and apartment until my home is restored which has not even begun yet.
This whole ordeal has been a nightmare in which the National Flood Insurance Program and FEMA have failed on an epic level.

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Snapshots of the Flood: Ramona

Today’s snapshot of the Louisiana Flood of 2016 is from Ramona:

We got 6 feet of water in our house. We lost everything. Now we are trying to rebuild our lives. My husband and I both have heart conditions. I am fighting depression. We have worked hard our whole lives. Now it’s just gone. We are just so tired. Gutting houses is not for the weak. My granddaughter was rushed to New Orleans for emergency surgery. The Cajun Army worked on my house a whole day while I was in New Orleans. These people were sent from God!! Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Ramona’s snapshot illustrates an aspect of the Flood that cannot be quantified – the emotional and psychological toll on the citizens of Louisiana. Long after homes and businesses are restored, flood victims will still relive it through their memories and emotional scars.

Snapshots of the Flood: Thomas

Today, we hear from Thomas and his snapshot of the Louisiana Flood of 2016:

Our family of 7 has a small farm with a lot of animals… water came up on us fast as we where trying to help those who flooded [before] we did. Now 10 weeks after the flood [Thomas submitted his story on 11/2] and we received zero help from FEMA. My wife and 2 of our kids that go to a special needs school are having to live 40 mins outside of Baton Rouge, meanwhile I am living in the front yard with our 3 kids that go to local schools. During the flood with all our animals we had goats standing up on tables, tractors, just about anything else we could rig as a platform. The flood resulted in over $70k worth of damage to our home (FEMA has given nothing ). All of our chickens died; we had horses and goats that got sick from being in the water. Our child with asthma had to go to the hospital several times for breathing issues. The news has carried our story. My wife posted Facebook live videos during the flood. My wife and I fed people during the flood, have [given] away dog kennels, shoes, clothes, food. Even our older kids were rescuing animals during the event.

Snapshots of the Flood: Bonnie

Bonnie of Ascension Parish, Louisiana, shares her snapshot of the Storm Without a Name:

My parents land, which I live on with a large part of my family, has never flooded. We had my elderly uncle and aunt come to stay. They use walkers to help them get around. We flooded and were rescued by our Cajun Navy. My father is 82 and my mom 78. The flood water was approximately 6 inches deep but even that little amount caused havoc. Floors & Sheetrock and any belongings touched by the flood had to be trashed. We are in the process of rebuilding now.  #ascensionproud #LouisianaStrong!

Snapshots of the Flood: A New Series

Often times, it is the short account one shares that best communicates the gravity of an event. Over the past few weeks I’ve received short testimonials from flood victims that provide a snapshot of their ordeal.

For instance, Tami sent her snapshot of the August 2016 flood in Louisiana:

Myself, along with my husband, daughter, son, and 10 month old grandson, were rescued from the roof of our home. The nightmare began in the middle of the night and got a lot worse before getting somewhat better over a week later. We are still displaced.

One can feel Tami’s sense of shock and devastation from the storm without a name. Tami’s story is one of great loss and uncertainty. Her words paint a picture known by so many in Louisiana. (more…)

Be a Part of an Oral History: A Call for Stories from the Flood

Do you have a story to share about the August 12-14 flood in Louisiana? Were you involved in the clean up efforts and want to share your experience? Do you want others to know the emotional toll the flood has taken on you? Do you want the nation to know what the rebuilding effort has been for you and/or neighbors?

“The Storm Without a Name” is looking for stories from those affected by the flood and those involved in the clean up/rebuilding efforts in Southeast Louisiana. This site seeks to serve as an oral history of this unprecedented event. Your story helps to add the “human element” to a storm that, for many in the U.S., is now a fact of history. (more…)

“God Winks”: A Narrative by Sandi McGrew

When I was growing up I played high school basketball. My father never missed a game. When he arrived, he would not wave, or come to the sidelines. He was a strong, but unimposing quiet man. He would get my attention by making eye contact, and then winking at me. No one in the crowed gymnasium was aware of his winking. If I did not look for his wink, I could easily miss it. It was my dad’s way of letting me know that he was not only watching the game, but he had his eye on me. No one else in my life communicated to me that way, only my father.

God sees us while we are in the crowd. He has His eye on me. He has His eye on you. To experience a wink, it takes two, The One who winks, and the one who sees. You must look for Him, or you may miss His wink through the distractions of life.

I don’t believe in coincidence. I believe in God winks. I have learned to anticipate and recognize God winks. (more…)