US Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson is touring Denham Springs today, one year after the majority of the city was under water in the August 2016 floods. He is slated to be with Mayor Gerard Landry who said on Talk Louisiana memories of the devastating event are something no resident in the Livingston Parish city will ever forget.
“Because we all went through this catastrophe together,” said Landry. “We’re taking baby steps forward and we will get there, it’s just a marathon not a sprint.”
Landry says a little over 77% of the structures in the city received 18 inches or more. He says, for the most part, businesses that were impacted have either rebuilt or relocated, but it’s the citizens that are having the hardest time in the recovery, especially those not insured.
“And it’s been a long, terrible, slow and painful process to get through the SBA, FEMA and Restore Louisiana piece of the reimbursement for these folks,” said Landry.
Carson is expected to hold a news conference this afternoon at 4:15. Landry says what makes this historic event stand out most was how fast the water rose and essentially took everyone by surprise. He says City Hall itself got 52 inches of water within a matter of three hours, and during that time it was “all hands on deck” to head out and start saving people.
“That’s really all we did for about three days was just pull people out of the water,” said Landry. “It was just a matter of reacting to the situation that was presented to us. There was no time to even think.”
To learn more about the flood recovery efforts in the city, visit the Denham Strong website.