Awakened by my husband bringing a bottle to our baby at 4:00am on Friday morning, I was told our street was already flooded. It was already too deep to drive through. We’ve suspected a drainage problem for a while, and the street had flooded before, so we didn’t think anything of it. I was glad to get a little more sleep as opposed to getting up for work.
By late morning, the water from our flooded street was now creeping onto our front lawn, already covering the sidewalk. We watched for hours as it slowly fluctuated up and down by an inch or so, gauging by a line on the concrete of our driveway. We thought it surely would drain or recede. Neighbors holding umbrellas were standing in their driveways, watching the water line and talking about sandbags coming. A few were dropped off to other neighbors who had water getting closer. It kept raining.
We waited and watched, still thinking it wouldn’t get to the door. The water was up over the middle of our lawn when we went to sleep at midnight.
Saturday, August 13, 2016
2:30am :: The weather alert woke me up with an extended flash flood warning. By this time, the water was up to the porch. Brandon was already awake, trying to pile dirt into a tarp in front the door.
3:30am :: I called the fire department to ask if someone could come to help us all get out because the water was still rising. They knew about us and said they were coming but didn’t know when. As soon as we started picking things up off the floor, the power went out. We lit candles, got a flashlight and continued, even waking the kids to move things onto their beds. The water came in slowly, into the garage and the front rooms of the house first.
5:40am :: After we finished moving what we could off the ground, we waited. We waited while sitting in the living room on the one dry spot, feeding Cheerios to the kids, repeating over and over to our two year old that she could not play with her toys piled high on the couch and not to move off the dry parts of carpet. I just remember thinking “we can’t stay here much longer.”
6:30am :: They finally came to our house after riding back and forth down the street carrying many of our neighbors. With only two bags of essentials, we left by boat to get to the front of the subdivision. It was barely light out. The man who helped us into the boat came down from West Monroe. This was the kids’ first boat ride, in the rain, away from our flooded house.
6:40am :: We piled onto a school bus and got the last two seats. The driver was talking to the chief over the radio about where we were going. More people came in and stood in the aisle. We were all wet from the rain. We all had water in our houses. An older woman and her 3 year old daughter squeezed next to me. She moved here from New Orleans and was holding back tears. We exchanged a few words and thanked God it wasn’t worse and that we were rescued. A little girl was screaming on and off towards the front as we sat and waited.
For nearly 40 minutes, we waited in a packed bus for the decision about where we would go. It felt like forever, especially with a squirmy one year old on my lap. When we finally moved, the devastation around us was more apparent. Everywhere we passed on our side of Zachary was flooded, most places worse than where we were just rescued from. The water was so high in the street, I was surprised we made it through even by bus. We were dropped off at the middle school and my brother came to get us soon after. Now we wait for the water to recede and to start the repair process. Thank God we are safe.
Moving Forward From The Louisiana Flood
To the fire department, numerous volunteers from offices all over the state, and regular citizens with a heart to serve, thank you for getting us and so many others to safety.
To those of you who are in safe areas, we appreciate and feel your continued prayers. Hug your loved ones tonight and be thankful. Help if you are able.
To those of you who experienced loss from this flood like us, know there are people praying for you. We are too.