As much as we want it to be over, it isn’t.
As much as we want to forget, we can’t.
As much as we want to be handled, it hasn’t been.
The Great Flood of 2016 was a catastrophe, and just as quickly as the waters came, they receded, and recovery is still ongoing.
That notion has been brought into sharp relief for a wide variety of reasons – heavy rains caused homes to flood; Duplication of Benefits is still unanswered; Restore Louisiana elevated a home, but some still haven’t received money; 84 percent of Denham Springs capital expenditures were flood recovery related (reimbursable); even the parish is locked into a FEMA treadmill because of post-flood related missteps.
Consumer spending has fallen back, as well – in some cases to less than pre-flood levels. Cars, for instance, we purchased on a massive scale in 2017, and fell nearly 60 percent in 2018, and the same trend appears to be true in 2019.
Toss in a dabble of “Comite River Diversion Canal still hasn’t been built, and most of the large-scale drainage cleaning projects have just been started” and suddenly this whole recovery scenario looks like a multi-year project.
So, the flood can’t be forgotten, it’s not over, and it hasn’t been handled. Not only is Livingston Parish still moving through the recovery phase, but the time after that in which preparations must be made to stop future disasters from creating such devastation and havoc.
There can be no talk of “Let’s do it cheap” or “No need to worry, it can’t happen again.” Because, just as after 1977 and 1983, it can and will happen again if future preparations aren’t made.
And next time, the flooding will be even worse.