Archive for September, 2012

Personal Account of Flooding from Hurricane Isaac in Ascension Parish, Louisiana

Tuesday, September 4th, 2012

Author: Tori Siears, Emergency Planner, Response & Recovery Division, IEM

sandbagging in acsencion parish

Sandbagging in Ascension parish

Hurricane Isaac hit my home state of Louisiana (and my home parish of Ascension) on August 29th & 30th.  Being an emergency planner in IEM’s Response and Recovery division, I am keenly interested, both professionally and personally, in how communities respond to storms like Hurricane Isaac. Even though Ascension Parish has faced massive flooding and damage to many homes, we have learned much from previous storms that makes us more resilient today than we were before.

I live in the southern portion of Ascension Parish where there was significant flooding. Dealing with the impact of the storm and the resulting high waters has been a stressful and exhausting situation. But I am happy to say that we came out of it unscathed. I had about 6 inches of water in my yard, but my house is raised far enough off the ground so it didn’t flood. The same can’t be said for many in my community and the surrounding communities. There are still many people with water in their houses and/or covering their roads. I have friends and relatives in the Ascension, Livingston, and St. James Parish areas that got water in their homes and a few of them lost everything. Some close friends have water up to their doorsteps and have been holding a 24-hour vigil watching and waiting. The water is finally starting to recede in most areas, but it is doing so very slowly. In addition, the area reeks of muddy water and the mosquitoes are out in full force. We haven’t seen as many snakes in the last few days, but I’m sure as we start to clean up, we will find them hiding in dry spots somewhere.

Many people have been comparing this storm to both Hurricanes Katrina and Gustav. But as far as this area is concerned, this storm was more like Tropical Storm Allison in 2001. (more…)