You come home from work on a rainy Friday afternoon ready to take it easy for the night. You’re excited to enjoy dinner with your spouse and two children while talking about the week’s highlights and your fun weekend plans.
It has been pouring non-stop outside, and the weather forecast shows that the rain will continue for days. However, it’s nothing to worry about. It’s just rain, and it will pass just like all the other rainy nights.
With every passing hour, the thunder gets louder and louder, and the rain drops get bigger and bigger. It feels as if the storm is right on top of your home, and the thunder is shaking the walls with every boom. The pets are terrified and hide under the bed for hours. They won’t even come out to eat.
You sit to have dinner with your family at the wooden antique dining table you inherited from your grandmother. It feels cozy with the hot meal, the smell of the food, and the sound of the rain outside. Life is good.
Your children keep energetically talking about their excitement for the beginning of school in three days. They’re excited to see their friends, meet their teachers and about the new school supplies you bought them yesterday. They’re especially excited about their new backpacks. Both are obsessed with Star Wars; so obviously they opted for the backpack with Rey, Finn and BB-8 ready for battle on it.
At 1:30 a.m., the cell phone suddenly rings and wakes you up. The bedroom is pitch black and silent except for the glow of the phone, its ring and the booms of thunder. When you answer, it’s your brother on the phone yelling frantically.
“Our home is flooding! we are flooding! Wake up and check your home!” he yells.
How is it possible that his house is flooding? His neighborhood never floods, it is not even in the flood zone. At that moment you knew there is something different about this storm.
You jump out of bed in a panic mode with your breathing getting heavy. You look on the floor and there is no water; that’s a relief. As you walk to the patio door and flip on the patio light, you find water about 12 feet away from the door. Not a good sign. However, you estimated that it will most likely take that water at least a half an hour to get to to the house. That’s enough time to rush to wake up your family, pack, and leave…but then, only five minutes later, the water is creeping across the wooden kitchen floor. In mere minutes the water was inside and it was continued rising.
You helplessly freeze in shock and stare into the water as it devours the furniture, the children’s school supplies, toys, clothes, and everything else you own. You can’t help but cry at this point; your tears fall into and become one with the mucky floodwater that’s spilling into your house.
You run and wake up your children and spouse, with no idea where to take them. You throw to the children their Star Wars backpacks and command them to fill them with clothes and other important items. They’re both scared and don’t know what’s going on. Your heart is broken watching them empty their backpacks of their new school supplies they were so excited about only to fill them with what may be their hope for survival. The youngest starts to cry and all you can do is comfort her with the empty promise of “it’ll be okay, sweetie.”
You walked to your front door hoping the roads are drivable; however, the neighborhood’s roads are already all flooded. The water is mid-tire on your car at this point and it’s impossible to drive anywhere. You run back inside the house nervously crying and then instinctively call 911. but the call can’t get through the overwhelming number of calls for help.
In just minutes, you and your family became stranded in a flood that was rising to your knees. The only hope at that moment, and I mean the only hope, is for someone with a boat to miraculously appear at the front door of your drowning house in the dark to bring you and your family to safety.
My dear friends from around the world,
This is just one story out of hundreds of other terrifying experiences that I heard last week from close friends and members of my loving Baton Rouge community.
Tens of thousands of families became homeless overnight without warning; many of which didn’t have flood insurance since they weren’t in flood zones. This wasn’t a hurricane, where there is extensive tracking, warnings and time for preparation. This just seemed like a normal Louisiana thunderstorm. The entire city had no clue what was going to happen when we went to bed the night of August 12, but we all woke up in shock the morning of August 13. We are still in shock a week later and will be for years to come.
I have experienced your generosity numerous times before, and I am asking for it one more time. I ask that you donate to my loving Baton Rouge community. The recovery process will most likely take not just months, but years for this community to have any sense of normalcy again, and we need the resources to get there. If you are open to help, here are two options:
- I can connect you with actual individuals that lost their homes and need financial help. Any amount you can offer is appreciated. All you need to do is just send me an email or add a comment below. This option is ideal for people who do not want to contribute to huge organizations and want to know who is receiving the money. What an amazing way to make new friends!
- We have a flood fund through the Baton Rouge Area Foundation that is being used to help with the recovery efforts, here is the link to it.
Please consider helping the Baton Rouge community. I will always be grateful for you and your generosity.