My phone started blowing up before 6am, texts stating that all LP schools were cancelled. I selfishly and naïvely thought, "This is great! We get a day off the first week of school and pretty soon the sun will be out. The boys and I will have a long weekend of fun." We got up and they started building forts while I turned on the news. Quickly I realized that we probably weren't in for a very fun day in the sun. News coverage was already showing homes flooded, water rising quickly because of saturated grounds from the previous week's rainfall.
Fast forward an hour or two and I got a text, stating that one of my co-workers was starting to flood. She is a single mom and didn't know what to do or where to take her 3 children. About that time Rob got home and wanted to help. For the next 9 hours of our lives, we saw devastation, team work, the power of prayer and love. We (i.e. Rob and a team of guys from the church. A friend and I stayed with the children in the vehicles, not wanting to be separated from our husbands) went to three homes and our church to sandbag. I wasn't prepared for the long day. I didn't bring a change of clothes, nor did I bring snacks for the boys. Not once did they complain. I think they understood, in their young age, the severity and magnitude of what was going on around them. At one point they needed to use the restroom and I realized that they hadn't eaten anything since breakfast, a rarity for them. My friend and I drove to a local grocery store to use their restrooms. I remember being shocked when I walked in, seeing all the empty shelves. We were told their bathrooms had stopped up and weren't available. So we went down the street to the Dollar General where my friend bought a change of clothes and we bought enough junk food to fill the kids' bellies until we could eat again. Little did I know that our long day was about to get even longer and the boys wouldn't eat again until our last stop....our church.
We were at our last stop, my boss's house. The guys took a small boat filled with sandbags to his house. They had gotten back to the truck and all I could think about was a hot shower and the gumbo that I had left out on the counter to thaw. The parish had set a curfew and we were going to use that as our excuse to get home. But then our pastor texted, asking if we could get him to the church because he didn't know who else to contact. How do you say no to that? So we went.
By the time we got home at 9:30 that night, August 12th, I was mentally exhausted, in tears, and bone chilling cold. I had changed clothes 3 times to no avail. (Thanks to my husband, who graciously let me use his change of clothes and wore the same sopping wet ones all day.) Rob's truck had flooded at our last stop and I didn't know what the immediate future held. After warming up the gumbo, we washed off the flood grime and crawled into bed. I don't remember if I slept well that night but I do remember the next day....
Picture compilation of the flood and its aftermath