TodayApril 16, 2022

Baton Rouge flood victim’s Dry Pillow Diary

A Go Fund Me account has been set up for Steve Wheeler and his family. Wheeler is a journalist whose house has to be almost completely reconstructed after the epic floods in Baton Rouge, Louisiana dumped over two feet of water in forty-eight hours.

Wheeler took to Facebook to let his friends and family know how they were doing after the flood. Each night Wheeler set on a twin bed and wrote a note, titled Dry Pillow Diary. Each night, more people commented. Each night we waited to see how Steve was fairing.

I am going to include the posts before Steve found a dry pillow to lay his head at night. After that Wheeler starts his Dry Pillow musings. As you will soon find out, Steve did not get much FEMA money, and he had no insurance. I will start with Day One and list them all. If you would like to help Wheeler and his family the Go Fund me account is still open and able to take donations.

August 15, 2016

It’s been a crazy day.

My daughter was able to get to her home by boat last night and was devastated. The home she and her husband just finished remodeling had 7 feet of floodwater and unimaginable filth inside. They just got all of their new appliances and furniture moved in 2 weeks ago.

Their young family escaped the floodwaters in the middle of Friday night with just their pajamas on. They lost everything else. My heart breaks for them.

As for me, my home was accessible only by boat today, but the water is receding quickly. Hope to be able to drive a vehicle with wheels to my house tomorrow. I got only about 1 foot of water inside, but that’s still going to require major renovations and months of work.

Becky, I put your Mustang press car in my garage, which was the safest place I could get it to in the 15 or so minutes we had to evacuate as the waters rose. When I checked it today it started right up and growled like it was mad. The only issue that I could immediately see was the driver’s side carpet is wet.

My other daughter’s home was threatened by rising water but did not get any inside, thank goodness. We’ve been using her house as our home base.

But my family is safe and physically unharmed. Emotionally we have some recovering to do.

Baton Rouge flood

Baton Rouge flood

Saw Lots of drama during this whole crazy time: stark terror, narrow escapes, rescues, bravery, cowardice, unbelievable community spirit and, tragically, some fatalities.

Thanks to everyone for all the prayers, offers of support and encouragement. You can’t even imagine how much it means to my family and me.

We will recover from this nightmare and be stronger for it.

God is still with us, and he’s working all things for our good.

Hard to describe in words what things are like here.

Lou Ann Hammond

Lou Ann Hammond is the CEO of Carlist and Driving the Nation. She is the co-host of Real Wheels Washington Post carchat every Friday morning and is the Automotive, energy correspondent for The John Batchelor Show and a Contributor to Automotive Electronics magazine headquartered in Korea. Hammond is a founding member of the Women's World Car of the Year #WWCOTY, and board member of the Women in Automotive.