Louisiana Flooding 2016
Louisiana Flooding 2016
LOUISIANA’S GREAT FLOOD OF 2016: A DISASTER UNFOLDING IN SLOW MOTION AS RESIDENTS CONTINUE THE STRUGGLE TO RECOVER
The timing of the Great Flood of 2016 could not have been worse. While news outlets were consumed by an emotionally-charged presidential race and Olympic controversies, south Louisiana residents faced an unprecedented flood of toxic water that in some areas totaled close to two feet in a 48-hour period.
Meteorologists thought their numbers were wrong: Areas that had never flooded were flooded and residents were shocked and unprepared for the rapid rise of water. First responders rescued thousands of people with high-water vehicles, boats and helicopters, some from rooftops. The water rose so fast one woman fled to her attic, then cut a hole in the roof to escape. Thousands were also rescued by all-volunteer members of the self-described Cajun Navy, hundreds of boat owners who went house to house looking for survivors and abandoned pets.
Rescuers paid no attention to political leaning, race or income. Neighbors helped neighbors. That’s what they do around here.
Unlike Hurricane Katrina, which mostly encompassed land in the Greater New Orleans that was below sea level, the Great Flood of 2016 affected 20+ parishes (counties) across southern Louisiana From the air, rooftops of homes and commercial buildings peeked out of the brown, muddy water. On the ground, tens of thousands are now homeless and have literally lost everything. Experts say than 110,000 homes are damaged, an estimated 70,000 totally destroyed.
Schools in 22 districts are closed, and 4,000 teachers and school workers are displaced. It may be months before they open again. Churches, a major source of support, closed and some businesses will never reopen.
While the economic costs of the disaster are being calculated, human suffering is incalculable as families attempt to pick through mud-covered possessions for bits and pieces of their lives.
With limited contributions provided at the onset of the disaster, local organizations helped tens of thousands of residents with emergency needs such as meals, diapers, personal care products, clothing, etc. However resources are rapidly depleting, and high-profile entities that were helpful in initially bring some resources to the area are leaving.
I’ve personally been part of rescue operations and waded through chest-deep water to help look for survivors and victims. And I know firsthand of the dire shortages facing local organizations and a few private national organizations that are heroically attempting to care for the masses of people who have lost everything. They are doing the lion’s share of work, and they are committed to continuing the effort for as long as required.
These organizations desperately need your help as the needs are ongoing. This is not a short-term emergency. Recovery will take months and even years.
Please watch this video and distribute it to your friends and business associates. And please help victims of the flood by donating to one of these organizations, which I have personally vetted. All contributions will go directly to feeding, sheltering and meeting the needs of people whose lives have been up-ended by this disaster.
I personally thank everyone from the bottom of my heart who has already given and to those who will give. We ask for your continued prayers and support as we help rebuild Louisiana lives one by one.
Jarrett S. Flood, M.D.
President & CEO – Flood International Consulting Agency