2016 Flood in Louisiana
08/13/16 - 08/16/16
Louisiana went through a great flood in August of 2016. I answered the call for help with my bobbed deuce and spent 4 days rescuing family, friends and anyone else that needed it.
Day 1 - I rescued my mom and other family members in Denham Springs (brought them to my house in Prairieville). My mom ended up getting about 5-6 feet in her house. Oldest sister got about 4 feet in hers. :( The interstate was probably closed at this point, so I drove through Port Vincent to Walker and the back roads to Denham Springs (near Watson). I drove through 4-5 water crossings along my way. You could tell people were starting to panic. Lots of people turning around when they saw the water, so at each crossing it was a bit congested. Later than night I was involved in a rescue of a BRPD deputy and workers from a RaceTrac gas station on O'Neal Lane in Baton Rouge. When I dropped off the evacuees to a command post setup at the Target on Millerville Road they met up with family members and left. I reached out to several of the Louisiana National Guard soldiers in the parking lot to see if they needed my help. No one really responded. No commanding officer was present. They were being sent to rescue people stranded on I-12. With no direction I went home that night. I continued to help my family that had moved in with me.
Day 2 - Today started when my buddy Darren texted me that he was stranded on Millerville Road at Old Hammond. AT&T service was down at this point, but since I was home I had wifi for text messaging, and Darren had Verizon. Darren had spent all night rescuing people in his dad's boat, but now his Suburban couldn't get out. I quickly got over to Darren and we hitched his dad's boat behind my deuce. After picking up some of Darren's friends we spent a few hours rescuing people down Old Hammond Hwy by bringing them to a school. At one point the boat & trailer were floating behind the deuce in about 4.5 feet of water! Each time I would stop someone would ask for help. I tried to help everyone, but we headed out to drop Darren's dad's boat off.
After a few bologna sandwiches were downed Darren and his friend AJ agreed to help me rescue people all day in Baton Rouge. I drove to a field command post setup on Jones Creek Road. We spent pretty much all day rescuing people in and around Jones Creek Road with the St. George Firefighters. I had a young firefighter in the back of the deuce, and a seasoned firefighter in the front with a radio. We probably rescued over 100 people that day. Terrell Road had a deep water crossing that no other trucks could make. I would drive to the back of Terrell Road and the boats would bring evacuees to me. My 6 foot ladder came in real handy with helping people into the back of my deuce.
The St. George Firefighters let me top off my diesel tank when I headed home. I-10 was shut down at this point, so Airline Hwy became a traffic jam.
Day 3 - I decided to help out in Ascension Parish (where I live). The command post was setup at the Walmart on Hwy 44 at Hwy 42. Two deputies took me around helping other police officers and their families get rescued. Along the way I met Coy from Coy's Diesel in Prairieville, LA. He has a M35A3 deuce and a half. Most of the calls that we answered that day were elderly or high priority medical calls. The deepest water was found on Hwy 42 near Eagle's Landing. I estimate it between 5-6 feet, but it was difficult to tell because of the wake I had in front of my deuce. No homes or businesses were nearby, so I wanted to get across without getting stranded. The deuce never skipped a beat! On Hwy 42 I passed an 18 wheeler that couldn't see the road the night before so he overturned in the ditch. I also passed an abandoned military rescue vehicle down Hwy 933. The soldiers were nowhere to be found. It doesn't look like it was overwhelmed by the water. Maybe it ran out of diesel? A Chevy
Colorado was down in the ditch off Hwy 933 up to its roof. The easiest way I've found to stay on a flooded road is to drive over the reflectors in the middle of the road. If no reflectors are felt then keep it between the mailboxes or stop signs.
Day 4 - Ascension Parish Police & Fire moved the command post to the Cabela's parking lot near I-10. After a 2 hour wait for an assignment we were off. Our first assignment was to bring a water pump and materials to hook it up at a communication tower. It turns out this was a tower that was used by the APSD for their cell phones. Maybe AT&T didn't have anyone to rescue their towers? My buddy Andrew, the APSD deputy and a volunteer named John got to ride back to my deuce in an airboat after delivering the pump to the communication tower guardians. While waiting for another assignment I took pictures of the APSD M35A2. This is what my truck used to look like (somewhat). It even has a whistler turbo just like my truck used to have! The APSD also has a HMMV for deep water rescue. Our last assignment for the day was to drive down Hwy 431 and clear the roadway of an abandoned RV and camper trailer. It turns out that my deuce made it all the way to Summerfield road off Hwy 431 without hitting any
abandoned vehicles, so we turned around and headed back to the command post at Cabela's. Before arriving at Cabela's I pulled over and took pictures of a few convoy vehicles from the Louisiana National Guard (LNG).