Imagine this scenario:
You’re walking down the street, minding your own business, and you see a woman up ahead of you get mugged. By the time you get to where she is, the mugger is gone, leaving the victim bleeding from a punch to the face and empty handed…her purse stolen. There is no one else in sight. You get out your phone and call your friend, saying, “Did you see what Hillary Clinton did today?!” Barely glancing at the woman, you walk by. After all, you’re going to have to vote in 3 months.
The news media is choosing to collectively ignore the tens of thousands of people left with nothing and effectively ‘punched in the face’ by the massive Louisiana flooding.
We’ve heard virtually nothing on our local news since this began.
CNN’s website has 18 stories before there is any mention of the flooding. After scrolling down the page past election and Olympic news, stories of “tense times ahead for Muslim-Americans’ and a banned bathing suit, you see the text “40,000 LA homes flood damaged.” Justin Bieber cancelling Instagram even merits a higher place on the page.
Similarly, FOX News leads with election news and ISIS coverage. Further down the page, in a list of 30 stories, the Louisiana flooding is mentioned…second to last.
Sad as that is, can you believe that as of this writing MSNBC has no mention of Louisiana at all. Zero.
Since the News Isn’t Covering the Louisiana Flooding…
I’m not usually about writing news pieces, but since my husband is from Louisiana, we are invested. We have many family and friends who live at the heart of what is transpiring. Since you’re not going to hear it on the news, I thought I’d share what we’re hearing.
One person said this, “Listen, we know floods. We are very familiar with water and storms. We’re not faint of heart and we’re not crying wolf here.”
She went on to describe caskets floating down the street, people trapped in upper levels of homes, stranded on interstates, and so, so many having to walk away from their homes, leaving them to the flood waters.
Someone else wrote that their house “was flooded and got about 12 inches of water inside. It was on a hill and built 4 feet off of the ground so everything outside is gone, literally floated away; stairs to the house, washer, dryer, freezer, tool boxes, goats. Luckily our dogs were survivors and clung to whatever they could until we could get back there to retrieve them.”
Other homes had 8 feet of water in them. Eight feet!!
Look around your house, your neighborhood, your community. Keep them in mind while you look at these pictures of the Louisiana flooding.
This is a picture of the elementary and middle school my husband attended:
And note, in this shot, that all you can see are rooftops. Everything else is completely submerged! Is this similar to what your neighborhood might look like under water?
We bought fudge at this Bass Pro Shop the last time we visited. Most of this area got more rainfall in 48 hours than Los Angeles has received since 2012.
Friends worked to sandbag her mother’s home during a lull in the rain….
This is the same house later….
Here are some inside shots of another home. I keep trying to picture this in my house. Devastating.
And as if the flooding weren’t enough…
One friend wrote this: “As I walk out onto the front porch to check the water level. I’m thrilled to see our road for the first time. I snap a pic and turn to take another, only to see the cotton mouth slither off the porch into the water and swim away. A great reminder, there are other things looking for high ground.”
And once the water recedes, damage remains.
What’s Inside Comes Out
As per usual, tragedy brings into sharp focus what people are truly made of. We have friends and family who have spent their time rescuing folks from roofs and upper levels of homes, arranging food support, inviting people into their homes, even hosting “we’re all stranded and it sucks royally” dinners for their neighbors.
Others are reporting that the looting has already begun in their town and that police have advised residents not to leave their un-flooded homes due to the high risk of it being robbed.
One friend, after securing his family snapped this shot and posted, “We have about 3 inches to go before the water comes in the house. We have moved a lot upstairs. .. I’m sitting here like Custer just waiting for the inevitable. (Except I have a glass of wine)”
Three hours later he posted, “Water is now in the house. It is what it is.”
So what is the news media not telling you about the flooding in Lousiana?
Just about everything.
We are fighting the urge to get in our car and drive down on the spur of the moment. Instead, we are sending donations through friends, family and churches in the thick of it, maybe planning a trip this fall. If you’d like to donate, I recommend you check out the following page, it has links to a variety of places where you can give.
Update: Since publishing this post, I’ve noticed that more media outlets have been talking about this tragedy. I’m guessing that’s probably because of the large amount of criticism they received. But regardless of the reason, it’s a good thing.
Photo credit to: Brent Simon, Natasha Hall, & Jeffrey Major.