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 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.