Big Storm

What remains.
What remains.

Big storms. They have a way of finding us. Especially in the summer months.

I don’t know if you’ve been paying attention to the news in your part of the world, but Southeastern Louisiana just had a massive storm. It wasn’t so bad in New Orleans. Nothing flooded. Trees didn’t fall down. We just got wet for about two days. And, the temperature dropped.


The upriver parishes didn’t do so well. They got flooded. Flooded like they’ve never seen before. Depending on where, between 25 and 39 inches of rain fell. Some, 20,000 people were rescued. Baton Rouge was flooded to the point that the governor had to leave the mansion. 62 miles of Interstate 12 were flooded and closed. Miles and miles of houses were flooded.

Even though the skies are bright and sunny today, those parishes out not out of the woods yet. The land to the north drains into the Amite River. It’s very likely that some places that haven’t flooded yet, will flood once the river reaches its crest. The earth is water logged. If another storm passes through, places that have begun to dry out will likely flood again.

Those 20,000 evacuees? They left with mostly the clothes on their backs. They need everything. They need every kind of help. Just about every group, club, crew, krewe and church that we know is collecting stuff. Since we don’t wear our clothes that hard, we are cleaning out our closets. Everything helps. We also paid for 25 cases of bottled water. And, six cases of clothes washing detergent. It’s hot down here. Drinking water is precious. You have no idea how good it feels to have clean clothes after about a week of wearing filthy, mud caked clothes.

FEMA is on the way. The president signed disaster declarations. In New Orleans we know how that goes. We aren’t waiting.

There’s more.

There are animals. People’s pets. Many of them were evacuated as well. They didn’t travel with their people. They are alone. Every animal shelter is asking for help. There are six dogs who live in this house. Cockers and poodles. They told us to bring their dog cousins.

So, we are fostering four dogs. They’ll be visiting from anywhere from a few days to a couple of weeks. That’s a pretty big commitment. After all, they are living, breathing sentient beings. They are scared and confused. Luckily, our dogs are very sweet. If a dog could be kind, they are. They have already helped the evacuees settle in.

If you want to help let me know through here. I can point you to groups who will actually help the people who need it.

The picture? I almost forgot about it. Sheesh. One more experiment. I wasn’t going to show it to you. I have a new series of pictures that I call, “what the dog saw.” But, somehow this picture just seemed more appropriate. Today.

By the way, I made this picture last year while I was photographing Katrina at 10. Now, it’s almost the 11th anniversary of the storm. Exactly two weeks away. That house, and neighborhood, still looks the same.

One more thing. For those of us in New Orleans, helping is very easy. Those upriver parishes were there for us on August 29, 2005. Water brothers and sisters.



  1. I am glad that New Orleans only got wet and that you are in a position where you cannot only help, but are willing to. Mother Nature…well, we’ve had that conversation before. Hopefully, these babies can be reunited with their humans. I know so many often end up forever lost. I am not sure how much I can do, but I would like to see if there is someway that I can help, so if you can toss my way whatever information you can…I would appreciate it.

    1. A lot of us in New Orleans think we have no other choice but to help. It was not so long ago that people in Baton Rouge reached out to help us. The dogs who are visiting us have chips so I’m pretty sure they are loved and will be going home. But, you never know. If their homes were destroyed than their people may not be in a position to take them back. From Indiana, mostly you can donate. I generally stay away from the big charities like the Red Cross or Salvation Army since so many of their donations get spent in “administration fees.”


      Second Harvest is a great organization. They normally feed anybody who is hungry. Their food comes from restaurants and local grocery stores.

      ARNO (Animal Rescue New Orleans) They are on Facebook

      Fin McCool is a local pub/cafe. As were we, they were flooded once. They are good people and are hand delivering donations.

      Fin McCools Pub on Facebook

      Normally Villalobos is a Pitt Bull rescue group located in the 9th Ward. They work with a rescue group in Baton Rouge who was flooded. For the next couple of weeks they are helping any dog.

      Villalobos Rescue Center on Facebook.

      Louisiana Baptists have a special place in my heart. Nope, we aren’t Baptists. But for the first three days after Hurricane Katrina when we evacuated to Sulfur, LA, they fed us. No charge. No gospel. No work. Just because…

      If you are thinking about volunteer work, according the the governor who we all like, that can happen through Red Cross. If you need a place to stay, we’ve got that for you.

      Thank you.

  2. I thought to ask you about your safety and your area, but as a weather watcher, I noticed New Orleans wasn’t really affected. I’m glad all is well there.
    The photo works well, and I think ‘what the dog saw’ is a very title creative as well!

  3. The flooding is page one here in the Seattle area. It really shows how important drinking water
    is. We keep several gallons in our garage along with other emergency provisions, stoves and fuel
    as a safety precaussion. (sp). That wouldn’t help in this case.

    1. We do the same, even though we are 98% sure we’d just leave before the storm arrived. This flooding was strange. Unlike Katrina, which just blew through the levees, the water kept building up.

    1. I’m glad that helps and thank you. We are becoming known as the crazy dog people of the Garden District. We’ve become the go to call for the pet adoption agency from which we bring home dogs. Besides what’s four more? They seem okay. Probably because they have a pack to play with… and the like the swimming pool. 🙂

  4. Louisiana was the “talk” this morning here in California. We spend so much time complaining about our drought, and then see photos of the flooding and it’s hard to imagine lives completely upended. The animals are always an added concern. With the wildfires in our state there are stories of separated pets and that adds to a family’s fears. I do hope that your four new friends find their way back to their family.

    1. I missed your comment. So sorry. I do believe there is a connection between the fires in the state where I grew up (Long Beach) and our flooding, which are the earliest signs of climate change. One of our visitors is leaving on Saturday to go home to her family. There are children in her family who miss her terribly, but were happy to know that she is safe and cared for. They are coming to pick her up. A visit to New Orleans is exciting to them. 🙂

      1. Is that a challenge? 🙂 I just received some negatives from 34 years ago. Let’s just see if I can inject some color into Tri-x after I scan a few.

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