Baton Rouge flood victim’s Dry Pillow Diary

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 of 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 17, 2016

Took this photo Sunday of an airboat exceeding the speed limit on Interstate 12 between the Range Avenue and Juban Road exits. He was also going east in the westbound lanes.

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airboat exceeding the speed limit on Interstate 12

And yes, I was driving on the wrong side of the road as well. It was the only way to get to my house from my daughter’s house.

I can see the grass in my front yard today, but Three days ago this was my front yard. Yesterday Jan, my son-in-law Jonathon and I began tearing out the carpet and pushing filthy water from our home.

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three days ago this was my front yard

I would like to do as much of the renovation as I can, but I realized this morning that my tools were still at Jessica and Josh’s house, which had 6-feet of floodwater.

If anyone has any extra saws, drills or other tools, they’re not using I could put them to good use.

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So today was a roller coaster day. Didn’t sleep well last night. Kept thinking about what to do first. Jan and I headed to the house early and found the roads passable. Trash piles on our street are deep and wide. Wasn’t long before our pile fit right in.

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Trash piles on our street are deep and wide

Got most of the nasty water out (we had 9 inches ) but a muddy gray film remains on our wood floors. Thought maybe we could sand them but a flooring expert said we’d never get them clean.

Put our sofa and rugs on bricks before the flood so they didn’t get wet. Moved them out in the sun for a while and a sudden shower soaked them

Thinking how things could get worse when a DEMCO truck drove by and said they had just turned our power back on!!! Yay!!

Immediately tried the breakers and none of them tripped.

Haven’t tried the kitchen appliances or washer/dryer yet but one air conditioner came on and the other one didn’t.

Had a “Discussion” with Jan about whether we should turn on the a/c to be comfortable or the heater to speed the drying. Anybody know which is right?

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impossible to visit friends & neighbors without crying

Jan has found it impossible to visit friends & neighbors without crying. I’m just kind of numb. I’ve heard that as many as 90 percent of the homes in Denham Springs were inundated. There is so much destruction. I heard the fatality total is up to 11, which puts my loss into perspective. The scars on our community will be deep and lasting.
Back at it again tomorrow.

About the Author:

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 member of the North American Car and Truck of the Year (NACTOY), Women's World Car of the Year (WWCOTY), and the Concept Car of the Year.