Note: This post is mainly for my out-of-state/country readers. Those of y’all that are local will be painfully aware of the situation.
You’ve probably heard about the Louisiana flooding by now. Let me tell you, it’s bad. It’s really bad. We’re talking on par with any hurricane bad, only it came without dramatic footage of Jim Cantore or Geraldo Rivera. It just rained. And rained and rained.
Thousands of people have lost everything. Will and I each know at least a dozen people/families that have been wiped out. Schools are underwater. People have been stranded on the interstate for days. Parts of my town and surrounding communities have become boat launches for all of the rescues that are still underway.
Adding to the chaos, AT&T lost service for most of yesterday due to a flooded hub of some sort or another. Phones were useless unless you were on wifi. Then you could email/text/Facebook. And you know what? Facebook helped save a lot of people, as crazy as that sounds. It was a live feed of who needed help, who was missing, where to make donations.
I saw a post yesterday morning about Celtic Studios, a local film production company that graciously opened up one of their studio buildings as a shelter. They needed anything and everything. Since cell service was down, Facebook became the mouthpiece. I threw together about 4 shopping bags with whatever I could find: paper towels, diapers, apples, snack mix.
When I got there it was chaos. At that point there were only about 500 folks there. It was hot and sad and the people smelled like flood. I don’t mean that disparaging at all. They simply smelled like murky river water. There were young folks, old folks, babies, dogs. The number has since swelled to 2500. Military helicopters are landing and taking off, ferrying victims.
There are now dozens of shelters open in the area. The water is still rising in some parts. This was unexpected. No one has ever seen something like this. Places have flooded which have never flooded in human memory. I can’t get in touch with my boss and friend who lives in the adjacent parish which seems to be hardest hit. More rain is in the forecast.
This is going to impact this area for a very long time. Some schools may be closed for an extended period. As a parent, how can you work if your kids have nowhere to go? Businesses are wiped out. Roads are washed away.
My people are coming together as people do in these cases. Everyone wants to help.
Keep us in your thoughts and prayers, if you’re into that sort of thing. Clean out your closet. Folks here are going to need it. If you have a few extra bucks, hit up the Red Cross. This is a big deal.