August 30, 2016
BENEFITING: MARINE RECONNAISSANCE FOUNDATION
EVENT DATE: Sep 21, 2016
After getting 30+” of rain in less than 24hrs between 12 and 13 August 2016, Louisiana experienced a flood that happens only once every 500yrs. More than 40,000 have lost their homes, many of which had no flood insurance because the areas where they lived had never flooded in more than 100yrs. Four Marines from 3d Force Reconnaissance have been affected.
No flood insurance, etc and FEMA funding is about 2 years out. It’s a horrible situation.
Sgt John ####### has twin 3yr olds (boy & girl), an 18mo old boy, and his wife Brittany is pregnant with #4 and due in Nov. He recently underwent surgery for skin cancer on his forehead (which is why he is pictured with the bandage here). On Aug 13 he tried to evacuate but the interstate on-ramp was flooded so he had to be pulled out by boat from his home and taken to a shelter for 2 days. LANG trucks took him to his in-laws house. On 17 Aug he was able to get to his home. His wife Brittany’s family flooded so her relatives are helping them. Sgt ####### is being assisted by a few of the Marines from 3d Force Recon Co at this time. Pictured here are: (1) him unloading his house of personal effects; (2) his USMC pubs and kids toys and clothes, (3) his 60+ yr old mother vacuuming sewer water / mud from the kitchen floor (4) two Marines from 3rd Force pictured in front of many of his home contents (not covered by insurance), (5) standing water in the laundry room, (6) his 18mo old’s room with carpet finally removed. Sgt ####### also lost both of his vehicles (pictured under the carport) & is trying to find transpo assets, but there is a critical shortage of vehicles locally. We’d ask that Marines from the unit who live within a reasonable distance of LA and can loan a vehicle consider doing so.
Sgt ######## and his girlfriend were at his family’s house on 13 Aug and they received a text message from neighbors at their apartment telling them to evacuate their belongings. This message didn’t get there until 8hrs late b/c of ATT being down so the next morning they hiked and kayaked in toward the apartment to find that water was at least 7ft high in the structure. They had to break a window (pic 1) to get in and try to start getting belongings out, though the belongings were all floating and/or ruined. They were able to rescue their cat but were not able to salvage any belongings. On 17 Aug they made the first trip back to their apt and found that much of their property had floated away into the treeline (pic 4) and that everything inside was ruined (pics 3,5). Their rental insurance does not cover any of the contents of the apartment. Their car was also completely submerged and is totaled [see waterline on dumpster in picture (6) and floating dumpster in pic (2)].
SSgt Hunter ####### is a member of the Mobile-based I&I staff whose entire family has been catastrophically affected by the flooding. He was finally able to enter his elderly parents’ residence on the 17th after they spent multiple days/nights on the second story (pics 1, 2, 3) of their home surviving on freeze dried food and bottled water. All of SSgt #######’s wife’s relatives have lost their homes to the flood and his parents’ entire neighborhood of elderly people have lost their homes. (Some of their neighbors are still sleeping in their homes without power and with furniture soaked in flood waters and backed up sewage.) The area is still without electricity so for the homes that don’t still have standing water, relatives are using generator power to run power tools to clean up (pic 4) and provide light for the salvaging of family keepsakes (pic 5). The #######s lost both of their vehicles to the flooding as well (pic 6). SSgt #######’s parents have insurance on the structure but not the contents of the home but none of his wife’s relatives have coverage on either. A shortage of vehicle transportation assets is becoming critical to all of the families affected and local Marines are working on loaning what vehicles they can to the effort, but this is falling far short of demand.
LtCol Andrew spent all day on the 13th performing water rescues of people and pets after the entire region surrounding his girlfriend’s residence flooded with about7-8ft of water, 5-6ft of which entered her home. In an area where flooding has never occurred like this, she – like most others - did not have flood insurance so both the contents and structure are lost without replacement. Her vehicle was also completely submerged and lost to the flooding. The CO lost his vehicle after purchasing a sea kayak to assist with rescuing people, only to return to see that the water had risen to a level completely submerging it where he had launched the kayak. Just as he put others ahead of himself over the past weekend he has stressed that the handful of local LA-based Marines first help the NCOs and SNCO before helping him. We hope to get to his residence over the weekend to begin helping him clear it out.