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Livingston residents honor first responders of the 2016 flood

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DENHAM SPRINGS - It was an emotional reunion in Livingston Parish as several flood victims met with the law enforcement officers who saved their lives last August.

Residents gathered at Lockhart Road Baptist Church Sunday to honor the law enforcement officers of the area who helped them amid 2016 widespread flooding. Many of the victims who gathered at the church on Sunday found sanctuary in that very same building.

Now, nearly a year later, the people affected by the flood have reconvened to heal and give thanks to those who helped them in their time of need.

"To be recognized by a church or your community really means you're doing your job, it makes everything you're doing worthwhile," Walker Police Chief David Addison said.

But officers weren't only there to accept praise, as many of them suffered from the flood themselves.

"As for myself, I slept in my unit for 5 days," Officer Clint Walker said. "My car was my home until I could find a shelter."

In a sermon given by Livingston Parish Sheriff Jason Ard, he candidly described what it was like being a first responder who was also impacted by the flooding. 

"My deputies are hurting, my parish is hurting, I don't know what else to do," Ard said.

But he says officers found the strength to overcome that feeling of helplessness in one another.

"Because this wasn't an effort of one man, this was an effort of everybody, all of us working together," Ard continued. 

The church went on to conclude the ceremony by gifting the first responders with plaques, another sign of the community's appreciation.

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