Our personal 3 day journey through the great flood
What was supposed to be the Last Summer Getaway for our Family did not pan out to be a Getaway at all.
August 12th 2016
6:15 am - We started off like every school morning from our driveway headed towards Youngsville. It was rainy very heavy at this time but we did not think anything of it. I just hate driving in rain anyway but we proceeded down the road at a maximum speed of 40 mph. We got to Milton and turned onto Milton Ave. Which should have been our first clue that we would later be stuck in Youngsville, We went through about 6 inches of water on Milton avenue at 6:45 Friday August 12th. When I got the call that School Was canceled for my teenage daughter who attends a Lafayette Parish High School. We proceed to my sons school which is a Charter Academy so they have to personally cancel his school they do not follow the parish. Get to Savoy rd where his school is at in Youngsville and pass through about 8 inches of standing water on the road there. By this time it started a torrential downpour of rain and it was hard to see even a foot in front of the vehicle. The lightning and Thunderstorm also came with the heavy rain. I should have turned around right then and there and headed back home but I thought about the safety of my children. We need to find Shelter out of this storm.
7:01 am - We arrived at my sons school and parked under the pavilion for drop off.
7:03 am- I finally after already in the parking lot, received an email that the school was closed. We sat there out of the rain for about 3 minutes, Then my kids started really freaking out by the Lightning and Thunder.
7:06 am- I went and knocked, and knocked and knocked on a glass side door out of the weather in the cafeteria under the pavilion. I could see a worker but she couldn't hear me knocking with all of the rain and Thunder.
7:10 am -Finally, I got her attention and told her we needed to seek shelter in the school and wait out this bad storm.
7:15 am- We sat in the hallway of the school trying to be patient and wait out the storm. No phone service inside the school. My only form of outside communication was through my 4G on my cellphone. So Facebook it was. I contacted my husband and let him know that we were OK. I was in constant contact with my in laws as well.
7:45am- We were placed in an interior classroom upstairs because there was water entering the building through some of the classroom and cafeteria.
8:15am- I walked to where I could see a window and realized that the rain had slacked off some. We were told we could now go downstairs. When I arrived downstairs. I looked out the door and saw that the roads were flooding and filling up the parking lot with water
8:30 am- I took both of my kids and piled them up in my Yukon. They were already shaken up but I knew that if I did not get out then, That I would not get out for a few hours or even days. We drove through about 8 inches of water just to get out of the parking lot. We then proceeded down the road to Chemin Metairie Rd. We went around the round about back the way we came on Milton Avenue. We did not get far at all. They had over a foot of water on the road. For us it was not passable because I knew that in the center of the road it slanted downward a little so it would be deeper in the center. I did not want to get stuck with my children in the middle of the road. So I stopped and called my husband and told him of my plans to try and get home.
8:3:5 am- We proceeded back to the round about and look down Chemin Metarie road going back towards Ambassador it had over a foot of water on it also. So I proceeded forward to the next round about hoping to pass that way. I was stopped by a police officer saying the road was impassable. I told the officer I was trying to get back to Judice. He told me "Honey, I dont know how you will get there all the roads going that way including the main road Ambassador Caffery was shut down due to flooding.
8:40 am- I turned around and headed to Rouses to try and figure things out. Take a potty break, and get the kids a snack to take their mind off things.
8:55 am- went back in the Yukon and called my husband not knowing how I was going to get back home because everything was shut down. All ways out were blocked. He told me he had just talked to a friend that said that it was clear all the way through on Chemin Metarie to 1-49. So I put my vehicle in drive and drove off. Sure enough my heart was feeling a little calmer as we didn't hit any water on the road and got to 1-49.
9:15 am - My heart sank as I looked at 1-49 and saw the amount of cars not moving much at all. But I made up my mind that if this was the only way home I was going to take it. My babies needed to be safe.
10:15 am- We moved a couple of blocks in that hour. The only time we moved was when someone veered off or turned around. I was thinking to myself. This is not good we have three quarters of a tank of gas but at this rate we may run out at this rate. I have to come up with a new plan. Later I found out that the reason we were not moving was hwy 92 at 1-49 was unpassable due to overflow of water on the road. No one was going through that way either.
10:25 am- I contact my in laws who had already had a camping trip for us planned in Lake Fausse point in St. Martinville Louisiana. They had been there since Thursday night. I asked them if they thought the roads to get to them were clear because I obviously was not going to get home. The traffic the other way on 1-49 was clear and hardly no traffic at all.
10:30 am- while at a standstill I contacted my husband and told him my plans. He said he would take I-10 and meet me there. I turned around and headed towards Lake Fausse Point. Took Exit 88 at the Couteau Homes exit. As I was veering off I noticed things were pretty flooded there also but I had made up my mind I was getting to my in laws. I was not keeping these babies in this Yukon Trapped.
10:35 am- I took a left on the exit immediately I came to about a foot of water on the road. I passed through it very slowly and got to the other side of the water. I took a left on the next road on the journey. I was following a truck the same height as my Yukon. So I watched him go through the next patch of water. I figured it was about a foot and a half. Had I opened my door it would have been in my Yukon but the truck made it so I knew I could make it just had to go slow and steady.
11:00 am- Go to the last big patch of water this time it had a small current. Again, I watched the truck ahead of me go through it and it was another foot and a half deep. Again, I attempted it slow and steady gripping the steering wheel so tight as I was very nervous this time, more than another other patch of water I went through because it had a small current. I said my prayers to God to protect my Yukon, myself and my 2 kids. God watched over us and we came through wonderfully.
11.35 am- Finally got on Levee road for the long normally 35 minute stretch which turned into 45 minutes because we drove slower with the puddles on the road and it drizzling.
12:20 pm- We Finally arrived at Lake Fausse point. Waiting on my husband to arrive safely felt like an eternity. He arrived an hour later. I realized once I was there that there was absolutely no cell phone service available for AT&T in the RV park. But we did have weak WiFi provided by the park. Anyone that needed to reach me had to do it once again on through Facebook and Facebook messenger.
The rest of the day and night we nervously watched the little bit of KLAF news because our antenna wasn't catching anything else. We talked about all going home but decided we would leave in the morning after everyone was rested and it was daylight. Driving on flooded roads at night is never advised.
August 13th, 2016
6:30 am- We got up and called all of the state troopers to figure out a way out. Because overnight we got another large torrential downpour not where we were but everywhere around us. They all told us the same thing Henderson was flooded in. The route I came in yesterday was completely under water as well. We were stuck in Lake Fausse Point.
7: am- 10:19 am- I stayed inside nervous, but not wanting to show anyone, especially my kids how truly nervous I really was. I would look out the door of the camper and realize that the water from the Lake was slowly receding into the park.
10:20 am- Got a Facebook call from my in laws neighbor. She had about an inch of water entering her outdoor kitchen. Now we knew we really needed to find a way back home.
10:30 am- 2:30 pm- We were in constant contact with people from home and trying to find a way back. The manager of the Park came and told us that the water would start rising onto land there and that if we stayed he would have to lock us in the gate to protect that no one else would enter the park.
3:30 pm- The park owner came back and started making some calls for us. and found out that the Butte La Rose exit was free and clear and that we could take that exit to get home. The only thing was that we could not bring the campers home because they could not pass over the levee. So, We grabbed all of the clothes we came with and packed up. We hooked up the trailer with the Golf Cart and started for home in a caravan of 6 vehicles. 2 cars, 1 SUV, and 3 trucks. So, we had to make sure anywhere that we would pass a car had to be able to pass.
3:55 pm- We were in constant communication with family back home and realized that 2 of the exits that we could take to get home were closed off (or so we thought they were, They ended up being open). So we took 1-10 to the Louisiana Avenue exit. We passed down back roads and only had to turn around 1 time due to impassable road.
4:56 pm- We arrived home. Immediately when we arrived home, We get a call from my Father in law. He saw the traffic was backed up at the light in Scott. So he took a left on a side street. The water did not look like it was deep but as he rounded the curve his truck sank and was taking in water. He had his dog with him and the trailer with the Golf Cart, Kayak, and some supplies. He got himself out and his dog and carried him through neck deep water. We found him exhausted mentally and physically with his dog around his shoulder. There was no getting his truck out safely so we had to leave it where it was.
5:15 pm- We arrived back to my in laws house to assess the damage in the outdoor kitchen. Water thankfully had only rose 1 inch in the outdoor kitchen, but every time a car would pass it would throw a waved of water into the outdoor kitchen.
5:30 pm- I said a few prayers thanking God that everyone made it home, And that we were all truly blessed. There might be one vehicle under water but we all still have our lives and each other to lean on for support.
For the rest of the night we rested because of the days events everyone was drained beyond belief.
August 14th, 2016
6:30 am- We woke up and drank some coffee. And chatted about how we were going to get my father in laws car out of the water. And discussed a battle plan for the outdoor kitchen cleanup.
7:00 am- We decided to go and take a look to see if the water had gone down any where his truck was under water. Because we did not get any more rain the night before and things at the in laws house were started to drain. You could see blades of grass instead of a pond of water. This was a great sign.
7:15 am- We arrived at the road where my father in laws truck was and the road was now blocked off which it should have been the day before. The water had rose more since yesterday instead of going down.
7:30 am- On the way back we stopped at our home and picked up the Shop Vac and the Steam Carpet Cleaner.
8 am- I started trying to pick up as much water as I could in the outdoor carpet. But the smell that was coming from the carpet was unbearable. So we decided on just pulling up the carpet and getting to bare concrete below. My husband then took the shop vac and picked up the remaining water and all of the sand that accumulated underneath the outdoor carpet.
8:45 am- we assessed the damage to the walls. They were not sheet rock walls which would have swollen up with the water. They were luan wood walls. So that animals and everything else did not come in we decided not to cut it up 5 inches we would wait until next weekend to do that in case it rained again this week. Which we have rain every day in the weather forecast. So we opened up all the windows and brought in a fan to dry the walls as much as possible. And sprayed pure Clorox on all the bottom of the wall and floor to kill any mold that may be growing. Next weekend we will do the same once we tear out the bottom 5 inch of the wall and insulation.
For the rest of the day we tried to relax as much as possible my in laws called the insurance company to report his truck under water but no tow truck would go into the water until it went down.
It truly saddens me the amount of devastation that our Parish and surrounding parishes had. This was unexpected for so many people. Lots lost everything they had. I had one customer of mine that had 18 inches of water in their home when they were evacuated out. Not sure if it rose any higher than that after they were rescued by boat. I put together a small video 5 minute video of the devastation that Louisiana underwent. And trust me when I say this is just a small portion of the damage.
All 4 campers are still at Lake Fausse Point the roads there are now clear and we could go and get them. Unfortunately after talking with the Park Manager. The whole Park has taken on water from the River and he can barely enter the park with a tractor. So, there is no way to go into the park to pull the campers out. We dont know what damage there is to the campers at this time.
Louisiana Stats from the Great Flood of 2016
We thank you all for your continued prayers and support for our great State. Here are some of the results of this flood as of August 14th, 2016. And I know once the water starts to subside the numbers will change
Rescue efforts intensified Sunday as a break in the weather allowed State Police helicopters to drop food and water to more than 1,000 motorists stuck in floodwaters on Interstate 12 near Baton Rouge.
More than 7,000 people and 500 pets have been rescued from the waters sweeping across much of southeastern Louisiana, Gov. John Bel Edwards said. He said the death toll from flooding remained at three, with one person missing.
About 1,700 National Guard troops have been mobilized, with more on the way. State Transportation Secretary Shawn Wilson said more than 200 roads are closed. More than 5,000 people spent Saturday night in Red Cross shelters, some on floors because of a shortage of cots.
Flood stage for the Vermillion River is 10 feet, the level recorded Saturday morning was 16.4 feet, and it is expected to rise to 18.4 feet, a 100-year flood level. Its highest recorded crest was 24.87 feet in 1940.
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Hi I am Tess, Owner of Renewed Treasures Studios, And Creative Business Coach. Where we make things Beautiful and teach you how to take your furniture flipping business to the next level with custom orders.