FEMA

Snapshots of the Flood: Ashley from Holden

Today’s snapshot is from Ashley of Holden, LA. Ashley provides us with not only a short story of her family’s ordeal, but also video and images she took as the flood invaded her home. Be sure to read the captions in the images as they help to add some further detail to her story. (more…)

Snapshots of the Flood: Shelly

Shelly shares with us a Facebook post from August 21:

I think the foremost frustration in this situation is the time limitation. All the helpful advice is needed and necessary. But this is what happens. You’ve got to get the water out first and fast. That means cutting Sheetrock and pulling insulation and carpet. But before you can do that, you’ve got to pull out all the soaked furniture and bedding, all the while knowing that monster mold is coming for you. Once the major demo is done, you’re still pulling everything out of closets, cabinets,  and pantries so the demo people (thank God for volunteers) can get to the back of all that to get to the Sheetrock there. But first you have to go through every last little thing you’ve ever owned and decide what to keep and what to throw away. Angel volunteers can’t help with that. And all the while you know you have to hurry because you know the monster mold is coming for you. Then there’s this. You’ve told all your relatives who are coming from far away (5 people at least who will be rewarded only in heaven) to bring lots of bleach. Then fb says “don’t use bleach!!!” You’ve made some gut wrenching progress throwing away 50 plus years of your life. (Your t shirt from pelican girls state, your Mortar Board blazer, etc). Then fb says “document everything you’ve thrown out!!!” Well it’s already gone and mercifully forgotten. Then there’s FEMA to deal with and a tetanus shot to get and there’s no time because the monster mold is on the march. Okay. That’s enough of that. I won’t have time for fb today. To all my flooded out family and dear dear friends just know I love you more than words can say. And to all the helping angels I may even love you more than that!

Once the waters receded, flood victims were in a race with time – a race against the onset of mold. The flood occurred during one of the hottest months of the Louisiana summer. The heat and humidity, mixed in with the water-logged city, provided the ideal scenario for the arrival of what Shelly calls “the monster mold.” There was little time to save items of sentimental value – you had to gut the home so that dry air could the water could be chased out from every nook and cranny.

There was little time to grieve, and little time to process the enormity of what had just happened. Everyone was in the race together against the malevolent mold.

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…)

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.

(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…)