Louisiana floods taking toll on youngest victims

DENHAM SPRINGS, La. — Michelle Parrott’s children hear thunder when there is no storm. When rain does fall, they ask their mother if the floodwaters are rising again.

In flood-ravaged pockets of south Louisiana, mental scars are already showing on the youngest victims of a disaster that prompted more than 30,000 rescues and left an estimated 40,000 homes damaged.

Children who endured harrowing rescues are returning home to a jarring landscape that even their parents can scarcely grasp: Homes filled with ruined possessions need to be quickly gutted. Damaged schools and daycare centers are closed indefinitely. Parents juggling jobs and cleanup work must also line up caretakers for their kids.

Parrott, her husband and her six children, ages 6 to 17, have slept in cars, a shelter and a hotel room in the week since they had to be rescued by boat. The flooding wrecked their home in Livingston Parish, where one official has estimated that three-quarters of the residences are a total loss after more than 2 feet of rain fell in three days.


 


“The emotional toll on the kids has been heavy. They’re all in a bit of shock and stress and having meltdowns and tantrums,” Parrot said. “Trying to get back into their routine is going to be difficult when we don’t know what the future holds for us.”

Routines are particularly important for her 17-year-old son, Blake, who is autistic and attends special needs classes at one of the many Denham Springs schools damaged in the floods.

“He feels unsafe constantly. He’s had a lot of breakdowns,” she said. “We’ve had trouble getting his medications in. The therapist flooded, so he’s lacking the emotional support he needs from professionals.”

Parrott homeschools her other five children, but she watched more than $10,000 in school materials float away.

“I have to start over,” she said.

Thirteen deaths have been attributed to the storm and its flooding, and nearly 4,000 people remain in shelters.

But signs of recovery emerged Friday.

Gov. John Bel Edwards announced that FEMA will start paying for hotel rooms for storm victims staying in cars, hotels, shelters or their workplaces. A disaster food stamp program will begin Monday. And the state intends to start consolidating shelters this weekend as more of the displaced return home or find other places to stay.

The floods hit just as the school year was starting in many districts, reminiscent of how Hurricane Katrina abruptly ended a New Orleans school year that had barely begun in 2005. With the city under water for weeks and much of its population scattered for months or even years, the first public school didn’t open in New Orleans until three months after the storm as officials tried to revamp a system that was widely considered to be failing long before Katrina.

For most parents in the flood zone this week, patience is their only option. Some school districts, including in East Baton Rouge Parish, are making plans to reopen their doors next week.

But in Livingston Parish, it could take several weeks for some schools to open up.

All told, Louisiana Superintendent of Education John White says 22 of the state’s public schools were so heavily damaged by flooding that they can’t be opened by next week.

Denham Springs High School was in session for six days before the flooding. Andrew Hunter, the school’s band director, said he and his students won’t wait for the school to reopen to resume practicing. Hunter said they plan to meet Thursday in a field next to the school for their first rehearsal since the storms.

“I have seen a lot of firm jaws, ready to get back to work,” Hunter said. “We control how we respond to adversity.”

Amanda Burge, 35, said one of her friends from Denham Springs plans to temporarily enroll her daughter at a school in Covington while they stay there with a relative. Burge said she can’t move her three sons to another district because her husband’s job is rooted here, but they haven’t had time to weigh their options. On Thursday, the couple was racing to clean out their flooded home before mold sets in.

“Everything is gone. School is gone. Home is gone. Church is gone,” said Burge, president of the Parent Teacher Organization at Denham Springs Elementary School.

Her 11-year-old son, Logan, smiled at the prospect of a “second summer.”

“At the same time, I’m starting to miss my teachers and my friends,” he said. “I’m wondering if they’re all OK from the storm.”

Even in crisis mode, Burge made sure Logan didn’t miss his rehearsal for a play at a drama program for kids on Louisiana State University’s campus.

“This is the only normal thing that he gets to do,” she said.

Bonnie Nastasi, a professor at Tulane University in New Orleans specializing in school psychology, said addressing the disruption of children’s lives is as important as helping them with the initial trauma they experienced during the flooding. Many had to be rescued in the darkness of night, plucked from their homes and packed together in crowded shelters.

“Re-establishing the routine of school is going to be important for children. If they can resume normal routines, that helps them to feel more safe and more secure,” Nastasi said.

ad-high_impact_4
News
Two Black Men Arrested at Starbucks Share Their Story
Two Black Men Arrested at Starbucks Share Their Story Rashon Nelson and Donte Robinson sat down with ABC’s ‘Good Morning America’ on Thursday and said the Starbucks manager called the police two minutes after they arrived. Donte Robinson, to 'Good Morning America' Donte Robinson, to 'Good Morning America' The men were meeting with a friend for a business meeting at the store’s location at around 3:45 pm on April 12 and declined to make any purchases. Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson issued a public apology and vowed to fix the issue by closing 8,000 stores nationwide next month for training on unconscious bias. Both Nelson and Robinson were released without charges after spending hours in jail, and the manager is no longer with the company.
Hero Southwest Pilot Was One of the Navy’s First Female Fighter Pilots
Hero Southwest Pilot Was One of the Navy’s First Female Fighter Pilots Tammie Jo Shults is being called a hero after safely landing the crippled Southwest Flight 1380 in Philadelphia. According to a spokesperson, Shults began her Navy career in 1985 and was one of the first female pilots to “transition to tactical aircraft.” She served for another eight years before moving to the Naval Reserve, retiring completely in 2001 with the rank of Lt. Commander. The Southwest flight, which was headed for Dallas from New York, was forced to make an emergency landing after one of its engines blew. One passenger was killed in the explosion when shrapnel flew through a window. Seven others suffered minor injuries aboard the flight, which carried 149 people. Passenger Peggy Phillips, to NBC News Passenger Peggy Phillips, to NBC News
Prince death investigation coming to an end
Prosecutors in Minnesota plan an announcement Thursday on the two-year investigation into Prince's death from a drug overdose Prince was 57 when he was found alone and unresponsive in an elevator at his Paisley Park estate on April 21, 2016. An autopsy found he died of an accidental overdose of fentanyl. Search warrants unsealed about a year after Prince died showed that authorities searched his home, cellphone records of associates and his email accounts to try to determine how he got the drug. The county attorney has scheduled a morning announcement at which time charges could be filed.
David Copperfield executive producer testifies during the magician's civil trial
A British tourist is suing illusionist David Copperfield saying he was injured during a trick. Chris Kenner, executive producer for illusionist David Copperfield, was on the witness stand all day Tuesday, April 17. Kenner testified that a business manager for the show talked to the man after he fell. Kenner testified that the tourist, Gavin Cox, said he was OK moments after the fall. Cox later told the crew: “Maybe I will have this looked at.” Copperfield is the next witness in line for Cox’s attorneys. K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal
Art Bell’s Top 10 Shows
A selection of radio host Art Bell’s most popular shows.
CCSD Teacher Is a Living Organ Donor
June Monroe speaks about her kidney donation to her brother and advocacy work with the National Kidney Foundation.
Shadow Ridge High School teachers protest
Shadow Ridge High School teachers protest. Teachers are upset over many things, including the fact that the district is fighting an arbitration ruling for pay raises. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Clark County commissioners debate getting rid of Henderson, North Las Vegas constables
Clark County commissioners are debating whether to get rid of the Henderson and North Las Vegas constables after RJ's story pointing out questionable spending by the Henderson Constable Earl Mitchell. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
1 Dead, 7 Injured After Southwest Airlines Flight Makes Emergency Landing
1 Dead, 7 Injured After Southwest Airlines Flight Makes Emergency Landing Dallas-bound Southwest Airlines Flight 1380 out of New York, which had 143 passengers and a crew of five onboard, landed in Philadelphia on Tuesday. According to NBC10, a female passenger was partially sucked out of a broken window, which was a result of the plane's engine ripping apart. It's not known if the female passenger was the one who died. Emergency personnel met the battered plane upon its landing. According to the Federal Aviation Administration, the blown engine resulted in a smashed window and a damaged fuselage. Southwest Airlines The FAA said that the NTSB will lead the investigation into what happened.
Single vehicle crash kills man
A man died Tuesday morning in a single-vehicle crash in northeast Las Vegas. The crash occurred Tuesday morning on the 1900 block of Pasadena Boulevard, near Lake Mead Boulevard and Mt. Hood Street. Police had few details, but Metro's fatal detail was on the scene investigating.
Sunset Park Homicide (update 2)
LVMPD gives update about suspect in homicide at Sunset Park (Blake Apgar)
Sunset Park Homicide (update)
Update from LVMPD on Sunset Park homicide. Releasing suspect's name (Blake Apgar)
Sunset Park Homicide
Police give details about Sunset Park homicide on Sunday, April 15, 2018. (Blake Apgar)
Parents of autistic child talk about their experience waiting for care
Parents of autistic child talk about their experience waiting for care. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Donald Trump Calls Out James Comey After Book Details Emerge
Donald Trump Calls Out James Comey After Book Details Emerge The President took to Twitter to criticize the former FBI director as information emerges from Comey’s new book, ‘A Higher Loyalty’. According to 'The New York Times', Comey describes Trump in the book as “unethical, and untethered to truth and institutional values.” James Comey, A Higher Loyalty, via The New York Times A Higher Loyalty hits stores on April 17.
Big Bounce America visits North Las Vegas
Billing itself as "the biggest bounce house in the world," Big Bounce America visits Craig Ranch Regional Park in Las Vegas.
Endangered Devils Hole Pupfish numbers enough for concern, but not panic
Researchers from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Death Valley National Park came together at Devils Hole, about 90 miles west of Las Vegas, for a biannual count of the Devils Hole Pupfish, an endangered species. Their count this time – 87. (Video by Patrick Connolly)
Hickey Elementary Students Put Harry Potter on Trial
Liliam Lujan Hickey Elementary School students learned how the judicial system works by putting Harry Potter on trial for the illegal use of magic.
David Copperfield in court after man injured during magic trick
The attorney for a British man who is suing illusionist David Copperfield said his client suffered serious injuries after being called on stage during Copperfield's show at MGM Grand.
The Clark County Museum Turns 50 This Month
The Clark County Museum has an extensive collection, dating back to prehistoric times in Southern Nevada up through the present day. It was first established in April 1968 and has had several locations before it's current home on South Boulder Highway.
Route 91 Artifacts Will Be On Display This October
Clark County Museum Administrator Mark Hall-Patton explains what artifacts will be on display in October as part of the museums Route 91 shooting memorial exhibit called "How We Mourned."
Bullet grazes woman's head
Las Vegas police investigating calls of a shooting early Friday morning found a woman who suffered a wound to her head. A bullet grazed the woman's head while she was inside her Village Square apartment on Nellis Oasis Lane. She did not have to be hospitalized, and police said she might have been an "unintended" victim. The shooting occurred around 4 a.m. Police are looking for the shooter.
Aces Host Draft Party
The Las Vegas Aces host a WNBA draft party at the Mandalay Bay for season-ticket holders, and have the number one overall pick.
Las Vegas man stands with president at White House
President Donald Trump delivered remarks in the Rose Garden Thursday about how the GOP tax cut plan helped working families across the country. To his left stood Richard Kerzetski, president of Universal Plumbing & Heating Co. in Las Vegas. Debra J. Saunders/Las Vegas Review-Journal
Transgender Man Running for Assembly District 42
U.S. Army veteran La Don Henry is hoping to become Nevada’s first openly transgender state legislator.
Erik Weihenmayer is the First Blind Person to Summit Mount Everest
Erik Weihenmayer talks about how he first got into mountaineering in 1995 with the ascent of Denali, the tallest peak in North America, and what he loves about climbing.
New Theater Coming to Neonopolis
Ken Henderson explains his concept for Notoriety, a 57,000-square-foot theater complex on the third floor of Neonopolis intended to host comedy, music and theater acts.
Politicians, Tenants Come Together at Neonopolis
Neonopolis Owner Rohit Joshi explains the concept behind the Nevada Business Forum, which brings Neonopolis tenants and politicans together once a month to discuss issues that are important to them.
USPS is holding a class for mail carriers for dog bite prevention week
USPS is holding a class for mail carriers on preventing dog bites just in time for dog bite prevention week. Sponsored by the U.S. Postal Service, is a public service campaign that offers safety tips and emphasizes the need for increased owner responsibility in the prevention of dog attacks. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Las Vegas Strip robbery spree ends in casino parking garage
A pair of robbery suspects led police to three parking garages around the Las Vegas Strip before they were caught early Tuesday morning. The first robbery took place at the Treasure Island parking garage, where two suspects "battered" a 71-year-old, her adult daughter and a juvenile girl. The suspects, one of who was armed, next demanded money and property from a pair of 18-year-olds at Fashion Show mall. The suspects were later spotted at the SLS Las Vegas parking garage. They tried to get away by ramming a patrol car with their vehicle. That effort failed and they were taken into custody.
Life
Art Bell’s Top 10 Shows
A selection of radio host Art Bell’s most popular shows.
Calvary Christian Learning Academy, “There was no fair warning.”
Samantha O’Brien, whose three-year-old daughter attended the Calvary Christian Learning Academy daycare, found out Monday night when her daughter’s teacher called about the school closing.
Companies bet their futures on cryptocurrency
Two Las Vegas entrepreneurs talk about finding their niche in blockchain enabled technologies and digital currency.
Solar panels reduce energy bill for CCSD
Wilbur and Theresa Faiss Middle School is one of 42 CCSD schools with solar panel installations, saving approximately $514,000 per year in energy costs.
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
ad-infeed_1
ads_infeed_2
Local Spotlight
Nation and World Video
Events
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like