Friday morning, about 6:30 am this was my courtyard. School was canceled maybe 15 minutes later. Carly and I stayed in. I drank coffee, read some email, thought nothing of the rain. I had forgotten to grab my backpack from the car so I went to go get it.
Then this happened. VERY SHORTLY AFTER.
That's my front step. I opened the door and that's what I stepped in.
I turned back on the news and listened more closely. All of the surrounding parishes and school systems had closed. One school system waited until after 7 to cancel and children were on a bus. That bus was overcome by flash flooding and was pushed off the road. Thankfully the children and bus driver were unharmed.
The meteorologist zoomed out the map and it looked like a miniature hurricane had situated itself over southern Louisiana and Mississippi. It just kept spinning in the one spot, not moving. She said expect downpours all day and most of the weekend.
While my courtyard drained fairly quickly, it only went to the parking lot.
Yeah, this was around 2 pm.
And later, about 6ish.
Yep. That's me going to move my car to higher ground for the third time.
Carly's like, "Mom, how's the water?"
And I'm like, "The water's great."
I honestly don't know why I wore boots because the water just flowed inside them.
The water kept coming in.
The water is up to the top steps. Parking lot is completely flooded. I'm beginning to slowly freak out.
My parking lot. This side got up to those tiger's legs. We evacuated shortly after that. A friend of mine sent her husband to save us because it was super close to entering my apartment. We picked up stuff from around the floor that I didn't want to get wet, unplugged everything, packed a bag, and left.
The phones were safely sealed in two Ziploc bags, wrapped in a Glad ForceFlex garbage bag, and then placed in waterproof duffels, so I don't have our journey through the water. The water came up to Carly's waist. She is 5 feet tall. You can do the math. We waded carefully in the water because, well, it's Louisiana and the water isn't that clear and pretty and there are all sorts of animals that I really don't want to think about. Carly tripped over a curb and almost went under. Luckily I caught her and just her backpack got dunked. But I'm telling you! Glad ForceFlex garbage bags are the bomb! Her laptop was wrapped in one and it was bone dry when we took it out the soaked backpack. Spend the $10 and buy those bags.
Yeah, that's the street where you get to my apartment complex. Those houses are elevated off the ground about 3 feet. See that stair to that blue-gray house? It was about up to the top step when we left. We are standing in the Raising Cane's parking lot outside the Northgate of LSU during a brief respite from the rain.
|We got one of these at least once a day for a whole week.|
Thankfully, the apartment did NOT flood. I don't know how, but it didn't. My car however wasn't so lucky. It did flood. And now it reeks. Waiting on State Farm to determine what they are doing with it. There are so many people who weren't as lucky as me. My heart goes out to them.
But life goes on.
Now comes the hard part. Cleaning and carrying on.
A friend and I made sandwiches and delivered them to those who are working to clean out their houses. It is so heartbreaking to see people pile their belongings on the curb because they are ruined beyond repair. I feel useless and then I feel guilty and then I want to just give everyone a hug and tell them that somehow it will all be okay.
Carly also helped out by making Sticker Sacks and bringing them to her school for those who have been affected. Her school, St. Joseph's Academy, collects sack lunches each Tuesday and delivers them to the shelters. They're called the "Red Stickers" (Baton Rouge = Red Stick) so they call the lunches Sticker Sacks.
Louisiana is strong and we will bounce back. I've got to focus on the kids and make sure they are doing well.
Sending you all the Louisiana Love!