Denham Springs

The Advocate on the 1983 Flood

An April 8, 2013 article from Baton Rouge’s The Advocate has been making its rounds on Facebook. The article is titled “Hell and High Water: The Devastating Flood of Livingston and East Baton Rouge Parishes in 1983” (by Bob Anderson and Bret McCormick) and marked the 30th anniversary of the devastating flood.

I was young when the ’83 Flood occurred; I don’t recall much of the actual event. What I do recall is seeing water up to the old TG&Y on Range Ave., and drawing a picture of the flood for class. According to the Anderson and McCormick article, it appears that the events of the flood are eerily similar to the 2016 Flood: (more…)

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Snapshots of the Flood: Becky and Kayla

Today we hear from two flood victims. A theme that’s run through several posts lately is the emotional stress experienced after the flood – even months after. Yet, in the face of emotional hardship, we see the self-giving attitude of Louisianians during the flood as neighbor helped neighbor, and stranger served stranger. (more…)

Snapshots of the Flood: Brenda

Brenda, formerly of Denham Springs, LA, shares her ordeal during the August 2016 flood:

We were at home in Denham Saturday morning. We had no water but couldn’t get out because the front of the subdivision was flooded. We thought we were OK. We talked about possibly getting together maybe barbecuing. One neighbor got all the lawn chairs we had and put in his attic just in case. We were on the last street in the neighborhood, not realizing the front was under water. This started around 10 am. By 12 we were under water, praying to be rescue. We called 911 and they didn’t answer . We called the National Guard and they said they were aware and would get to us when they could. Local people started coming in boats to get their family members. We would beg for help.

(more…)

Snapshots of the Flood: Daniel

Daniel of Denham Springs shared his snapshot with me on Facebook:

[Of the picture:] My wife’s car fleeing get the flooding on August 13. This is I-12 westbound between Denham Springs and O’Neal Lane. The car performed superbly, later to be ruined by a local car dealer that left it with wet carpet and windows closed for six weeks in the Louisiana summer sun. We took 4 feet of water in our home, and really didn’t need the added expense of replacing a 2 year old car.

Daniel’s picture is of the same stretch of I-12 that my dad drove when he attempted to reach one of my aunts in Denham Springs. He eventually had to turn around due to the high water on the interstate.

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.

(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…)

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…)

When Weather Shatters Expectations: A Narrative by Alex Melancon

My name is Alex Melancon. I’m a sophomore Atmospheric Science major at the University of Louisiana at Monroe. I’m from St. Amant, Louisiana. Both sides of my family have lived in this area for generations. I’ve loved weather since I was a child and have always wanted to pursue a career in it.  (more…)

When a Crisis Reveals Character: A Narrative by Holley Morrison

Holley Morrison is an Atmospheric Sciences major at the University of Louisiana at Monroe.

The day before the historic event of August 13, 2016, my mom received her last treatment for breast cancer. We started off thinking that we were okay because our house’s elevation was over a foot above the crest of the Amite River. My house is on Maple Street in the middle of Denham Springs, not even a mile from Denham Springs High School, my beloved alma mater, which received 4 feet of water. The forecast of the crest started off at 44 feet and then jumped to 46 feet by 10:00am that day. That was alarming, but we were still over a foot above the forecasted flood level, so we were safe, right? Wrong. (more…)