Plainview Cemetery finally reopens after 2016 flood
LIVINGSTON PARISH - Billy Addison is visiting his wife's grave for the first time. She died more than a year ago.
"They had to just set her on top, at this location until they finished with all the repairs," Addison said.
She's buried in Plainview Cemetery near Denham Springs. It was heavily damaged during the flood and closed for two years.
"I'm so excited to see the cemetery in the condition that it's in, versus what it was initially after the flood," Addison said.
Following the 2016 flood, caskets were unearthed and empty graves were filled with water. It took more than a year to rebury the bodies.
"It's day of celebration," Chairman of Plainview Cemetery Frank Banks said Monday. "I'm happy that we got all that taken care of."
Banks was in charge of the graveyard's restoration. He called upon help from FEMA and Livingston Parish Homeland Security, who took over the project.
"For the families, I know it's very tough, because many wanted to come in and put flowers, on certain holiday and they weren't able to do that, but now they can," Banks said.
But there were no visitors for the 15 people in the cemetery's unmarked vaults. The bodies were never identified, so they will be reburied in unmarked graves.
"We tried everything we could, but we just couldn't identify who they were," Banks said.