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Watson residents remember 2016 flood, learn from experience

4 months 3 days 6 hours ago Monday, August 14 2017 Aug 14, 2017 August 14, 2017 10:21 PM August 14, 2017 in News
Source: WBRZ

WATSON - People in the Livingston Parish town of Watson are still recovering after getting more than 30 inches of rain during last year's flood.

One couple went door-to-door as the water rose, and remember the Friday before the devastation as a picture perfect day.

"I had pictures of my kids in the pool at 6:30 Friday evening it was beautiful," Jodi Rushing said. "About 2:30 in the morning an alarm went off and woke us up and I was like, I'm just gonna go look, just gonna go look. And it took a minute to comprehend what I was seeing."

Jodi said the water was too close for comfort. That's when she and her husband, Dana, along with their children decided to evacuate.

"Looking around in the neighborhood, nobody is up, nobody is up. So we bailed out of the vehicles and started waking people up," Jodi Rushing said.

The family used their truck to bring their neighbors to dry land.

"Basically they send people out, my daughter and her friend and I would drive the two trucks and bring them down to the end of Bend Road, drop them off there and come back and get more people," Jodi Rushing said.

Residents with tractors met families to cart them to a safer spot, where more vehicles waited to take them to nearby shelters. It was an assembly line that was never planned. 

"I think that's what humans do. I think that's what good humans do and we were fortunate to be on the front of it. Send them down that assembly line and I knew there would be people there to help them and that's who we need to thank," Dana Rushing said.

Jodi and Dana won't take the credit for saving lives, but they said they are grateful for the help they've received that has allowed them to give to others.

"It's more of a blessing to us to help somebody else I think. I'm a home contractor and builder and I'm still working on several people's houses a year later," Dana Rushing said.

Dana said that while the flood waters are at bay, for now, there are many lessons to be learned from the 2016 flood.

"Mainly keep your head, don't make irrational choices and ask for help," Dana Rushing said.

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