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My Renaissance After the Great Flood

Updated on August 13, 2017
LauraTallo profile image

Laura Tallo is a photographer and artist in Hammond, Louisiana. She uses her photography and art work to support her Christian articles.

Demolition Begins!

Mold is growing on the walls.
Mold is growing on the walls. | Source
Mold is growing in the cabinets.
Mold is growing in the cabinets. | Source
The cabinets are removed to reveal hear-of -pine wood.
The cabinets are removed to reveal hear-of -pine wood. | Source
The plumbing will need attention.
The plumbing will need attention. | Source
My brother is scraping wet tile off of the floor. There was hardwood flooring underneath.
My brother is scraping wet tile off of the floor. There was hardwood flooring underneath. | Source

Out With the Old, and In With the New!

We tore up the tiles, revealing hard wood flooring (which I want to save). Then ripped out the walls. The walls were paneling, but underneath that paneling, we found sheetrock painted a warm baby blue color. We also found rotted wood that needed replacing. The plumbing had been damaged by rushing water and debris. As the men took down the sheetrock (due to mold), the ceiling tiles started to fall. So that meant that I would have to replace the ceiling.

When you go through something like this in South Louisiana, you have to get permits to demolish and rebuild- even if it is on your own property. I had to have my home brought "up to code". Well, the insurance money didn't cover that! I had to rewire the place, put in a modad sewer pump, and I am going to have the whole house re-plumbed.

My church, Old Zion Hill Baptist Church, helped bring in a mission team to assist with the demolition. They have also paid for my insulation and new sheetrock. My carpenter will begin putting that up this week. I can't wait for another mission team. I was robbed last week, so I can't leave these materials lying around for the robbers to come back and take more. Little by little, I am making headway. Maybe in a few months it will be finished. I feel like the "Little Engine That Could." I am going to keep at it until it is beautiful. When I have new walls up, I will post the progress. I now have a nice attic access, and I have an attic fan- just like my grandma always wanted. I am thankful for my brother Clay and his wife Suzi, The Mission Team, and Old Zion Hill Baptist Church for the help that I have received.


Rescues and Relief

My brother, Clay Stilley, on a rescue mission with his boat.
My brother, Clay Stilley, on a rescue mission with his boat. | Source
My brother, Clay Stilley, on another rescue mission.
My brother, Clay Stilley, on another rescue mission. | Source
Check out how high the water is. That is a mailbox sticking up just above the water level.
Check out how high the water is. That is a mailbox sticking up just above the water level. | Source
After rescuing over 100 people with the Fire Chief and Sheriff's Department, Clay grilled over 300 lbs of chicken to deliver to the displaced and hungry people in shelters.
After rescuing over 100 people with the Fire Chief and Sheriff's Department, Clay grilled over 300 lbs of chicken to deliver to the displaced and hungry people in shelters. | Source

Did Anything Good Come Out of This Flood?

Yes, indeed! Entire neighborhoods would rally to help in any way that they could. There were others, like my brother Clay Stilley, in their boats performing rescues. Churches collaborated to take in the homeless. We came together, no matter what race or creed, and we proved that we could show love to one another.

The truth is, that there is a lot of love in the hearts of folks who live in the Deep South. When you have love in your heart, it just flows out of you. How can you NOT help your neighbor?

I love living in Louisiana. There are changes that need to be made. Rivers and canals need to be dredged. Water needs to be diverted. The walls along the interstate need to be changed so that they don't dam the water, but let it flow. This was a man-made flood. It was caused by thoughtless engineering. However, that is a problem which can be resolved.

What is most important is that we love our neighbors as we love ourselves, and that we help each other in times of need.

Do You Know What to Do if a Flood is Coming Your Way?

* Leave with your animals if at all possible.

* Before you go, put all of your family photos in a really high place.

* If you are stuck, try and call someone to rescue you if you still have phone service.

* If you can't call and you hear air planes, get on your roof.

© 2017 Laura Tallo

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