For the past three weeks, our ward has only had sacrament meeting so that those who are able can go back out to LaPlace to help. The first Saturday, Sunday, and Monday, we spent at the Rich's. (They're doing well, by the way. You can check out Jaime's blog here.)
We spent September 9th at Dawn and Aaron's home in Cambridge, one of the areas in St. John Parish that had the worst flooding. Dawn and Aaron had decided to wait out the storm in their home, but when they saw the water coming up their street they knew they had to get out. The water rose so fast that by the time they had gathered up the necessities, they could no longer drive out. They waded through the water with their three small kids, one on each of their backs, and holding their oldest's hands. They had up to two feet of water in their home at the peak, and had just recently gotten back into their neighborhood. Twelve days after the storm, and they were just beginning to take out the drywall and insulation. Not only did it smell, but black mold was growing up and down their walls. The insulation was still dripping wet with flood and sewer water. And the majority of their possessions were sitting out on the side of the road. Because all of their neighbors are in the same situation, Dawn and Aaron had very little help. The four of us were there for about six hours removing the drywall, insulation, and cabinets. Dawn said to me, "You don't know how big of a help this was. Aaron and I would have had to do it all by ourselves. Before you came, I didn't know how we would do it. Now it's manageable." Aaron made the same comment, with tears in his eyes.
|Me, Adam, Aaron, Dawn, Michael, and Andy|
The streets still look like this:
|Aaron & Dawn's home|
It's sobering. But we are so blessed to be able to help. I woke up yesterday morning dreading going out to pull out more moldy insulation. But it's worth it. We can't fix their problems. But we can make it manageable.