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.