Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Flooding in Louisiana

I have not posted about the flooding in Louisiana because I'm still trying to process it. When I woke up that morning, my phone had an alert that we were under a flash flood warning. I didn't even think about it because we get those frequently and there was no hurricane warning. There was also no evacuation warning because, again, no hurricane.

I work from home, and I did what I always do. I drank my greens smoothie, brought my laptop downstairs, and logged into my training session for my new job. I let them know the weather was a little rough and I may lose power. The power lines on my street are above ground and sometimes we lose power for a week during bad weather.

On my fifteen minute break, I logged in to Facebook. My mother had posted photos and her entire street was under water and creeping towards her house. My parents have occupied that house for 33 years. In that time, the water had never gotten that high. It didn't flood during hurricane Katrina, nor did the water get that close to the house.

Two hours later, I am on my lunch break. I check Facebook again. I have friends posting that they had to leave because water is coming into their houses. They left to go stay with family members who are dry and don't have water in the front of their house.

The next morning, I have another flash flood warning on my phone. I find out my parents had to flee their house in the night to higher ground until a family member could pick them up. My grandmother is okay, but she also lives close to me and I haven't flooded. I check Facebook again and all of my friends who do rescue work are desperately trying to find someone with a dry home to keep their fosters so they can get to at least one of the shelters that is open. One of them is running low on pet food and can't get out to get more. At least one of my friends has water up to the ceiling in her house.

AT&T cell towers are now under water. No one with AT&T can call or send texts unless they have a model cell phone that allows Wi-Fi calling and they are near a router. I cannot call my parents at all because they have older phones. The people that do have cell service are sharing photos and videos. There are streets that are totally underwater with just roofs visible. Local fishermen got together and pulled people off roofs and out of cars in their fishing boats and bateaus. They have since been named "The Cajun Navy". Videos of them pulling people and animals out of the water, out of cars, and off roofs have been shared multiple times on my Facebook.

I did not flood and I never lost power, but almost everyone I knew did. When I leave my house and talk to other people, I feel guilty meeting weary eyes when they ask how I made out after telling me they lost everything, to tell them I was okay in the flooding. The flood water is slowly going away, but people here are not okay. I know people with ten people staying at their house who need food. My rescue friends are overloaded with lost pets and need pet food. A lot of the people who flooded are not in flood zones and have not flooded since they have been alive, and do not have flood insurance. People have to get tetanus shots to go back inside their houses because there is foul water pooling on their floors and no one can start putting the drywall that they had to rip out back in for weeks because of toxic mold.

I'd like to address a few things I've seen in the news or other people post. I've seen this on twitter, facebook, etc. Why isn't Hilary there? Why isn't Obama there? Because they were asked to wait. Officers and firemen are tied up with rescue and dealing with traffic accidents on the roads that are actually open. That is where they need to be. Unless a politician is going to be here going around ripping out drywall, pulling people off roofs, etc, they don't need to be here tying up resources. Yes, Trump came anyway. No, he didn't donate to any of the disaster relief programs that are here. He donated to Tony Perkin's church. Tony Perkin's used to preach that disasters like this were sent to punish gay people. Until his house flooded in this flood.

I would also like to talk about some of the ignorant things I've read from people who don't live here who have been saying we should have learned our lesson and left after Katrina and should get no relief. I would also like to address the man who said he didn't want his tax dollars coming here because we should have known better. THIS WAS NOT A HURRICANE. This was 3-4 days of epic rain. Louisiana is not wetlands. The majority of people who flooded are not in flood zones because this is a 500 year flood. It's now being called a 1000 year flood. And to the guy who doesn't want his tax dollars coming here, I'll gladly send you some of mine so that you can go to school and learn geography, flood plains, and basic science

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