I’m not native to Baton Rouge.
I’m from California, and I’ve only lived here 3 years. Growing up in California, I’m used to people keeping to themselves. I’m still not used to strangers in the South waving at me, saying hello and asking how my day was, much less the courteous “yes ma’am” I always seem to get.
I’ve also never been through a hurricane, and the worst “disaster” I’ve experienced is what most Southern Californians would consider a relatively minor earthquake that was more of a traffic inconvenience than anything else. So what I’ve seen these past few days with the flooding in the Baton Rouge area has been a huge eye opener.
My family is among the lucky ones.
We left our Prairieville subdivision Saturday night to stay with friends in Baton Rouge once the only two entrances to our neighborhood started flooding and while we were still waiting for the nearby Bayou Manchac to crest. Though the flood waters rose around our yard and far too close to my front door for my comfort, they never reached our house. The waters have now started to recede. Thank God. I know far too many people who were not as fortunate, people who don’t live in flood zones and don’t have flood insurance, but now have inches, if not feet, of water in their homes. It.Is.Heartbreaking.
But as devastating as the Baton Rouge flood is, I’m already seeing some beauty come out from it. Baton Rouge, which has been through the ringer the past month or two, is coming together. And so are our neighbors. The Cajun Navy is coming from all over Louisiana to rescue flood victims, risking their own lives and property to save others. My Facebook news feed is filled with posts of those who are high and dry, offering a comfortable place to stay for displaced flood victims. And churches and other organizations are serving as shelters and collection sites for essentials. Everyone is organizing and helping so quickly.
It’s our duty to help others.
Today, my husband and I took our boys to the store to gather supplies and drop them off at a church that will be delivering them to the shelter at Lamar Dixon. Not only did I want to do something to help, I wanted to instill in my 5 and 2 year old boys our duty to help others. My boys haven’t lost a single thing in the Baton Rouge flood, but some people have lost everything. It is our job to love on our neighbors, share with them what we can, and lend them a helping hand during this difficult time.
I know nothing about flooding or how you rebuild after a flood or even where you stay while you’re working on your house. But I do know that if the past few days is any indication, then Baton Rouge and the surrounding cities will get through this. Baton Rouge is showing that it is a city of neighborly love, and we won’t leave our flood victims to fend for themselves. Thank God!