Tom Aswell, author, journalist, gives an account of his family’s experience with the flood in Denham Springs, LA, which is about 20 miles west of the Albany, Springfield, Hungarian Settlement area in Livingston Parish. Folks the Amite River floods and that is no surprise to anyone familiar with the area. People, however, do not build in the flood zone or even within feet of flood stage. This no name storm in several locations along the Amite caused the river to crest at heights greater than 2X flood stage. In Denham itself if memory is correct flood stage is about 39 feet, the crest would be approximately 7 to 8 feet higher so the levels at narrower and shallower sections up and down river were truly numbing. I’ve seen images and heard stories of areas in the parish that I never would have imagined flooding. Even being physically removed up here in Maryland, it’s surreal. For those back home in the parish and surrounding areas it really does feel like the Twilight Zone because most of these people never excepted a scenario that would cause their places to flood. That feeling was not rooted in theory, but first-hand experience from Katrina, Rita, Gustav, Issac, 1983 and more. History offer, no matter the era, provided no precedent and common sense was not lost in the rain with no name.
LouisianaVoice has been severely wounded but we’re temporarily operating from my daughter’s in Watson, about seven miles north of my destroyed home in Denham Springs. Following a leisurely breakfast Saturday morning, we looked out the front door to see water from the Amite River (a mile from my house) coming across the street.
That was all the warning we got after feeling confident the night before that we were in no peril. We scrambled to throw some clothing into garbage bags, gathered our medications and put our dogs on leashes as the water poured into the home where we had been living the past 22 years.
Shortly after, a flotilla from the West Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Department (that’s West Baton Rouge, as in across two rivers—the Amite and the Mississippi—and two parishes to the west of us) arrived as we struggled to raise heavy furniture. The deputy who came to…
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