TodayApril 15, 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 19, 2016

I have seen some things in the last five days that have frightened me, some that have amazed me, some that frustrated me, some that have infuriated me and some that have left me overjoyed.

When your daughter calls at 4:45 am hysterically crying that she’s not sure she can escape rising floodwaters coming into her home, and then her phone goes dead, that’s frightening.

When you see the water in your normally peaceful neighborhood lake, rise up and angrily swallow every home in your neighborhood you are amazed at the power of uncontrolled water.

angrily swallow every home in your neighborhood

angrily swallow every home in your neighborhood

When you see three empty military troop carrier vehicles sitting idle at the edge of a flooded road for two hours while two of Louisiana’s “Cajun Navy” boat owners risk their lives shuttling people across the water it frustrates you.

When your wife’s brother falls and breaks two ribs and returns home from the emergency room to find that his shed has been looted it infuriates you.

And when you watch two brave airboat pilots rescue the last two of about 20 of your friends and neighbors at 10:30 pm in pitch-black water full of who knows what, you become overjoyed.

To all the people who have offered prayers, encouragement, food, supplies, gift cards, and support, I and my family thank you.

To my incredible friends in TAWA and the automotive industry, I am truly grateful for everything you are doing.

And to the thousands of local first responders and volunteers from around the country who have put their own lives on hold to come here to help us, Louisiana thanks you.

Once we are back on our feet, we will pay this forward.

We promise.

After the flood, a Denham Springs subdivision starts over.

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.