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Two years after flood, all bodies finally back in place at Plainview Cemetery

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LIVINGSTON PARISH - One by one, more than a dozen concrete caskets were lifted into the air and carefully placed in their new home.

"It feels good because it's been a very long process," David Alfortish said.

On each of them, a plaque reading "unidentified--great flood 2016--pv". The 'pv' stands for Plainview Cemetery. Two years ago, the cemetery in Denham Springs was devastated.

"You had caskets, vaults all over the place, some upside down," cemetery chairman Fred Banks said. "Something like you've never wanted to see before."

More than 200 graves had been disturbed and moved far from where they belonged. FEMA and the LSU FACES lab stepped up to help identify the bodies and put them back.

"We've recovered all bodies and identified everybody except for those 15 that you see being buried right now," Banks said.

"That was a very good number--a very good percentage," David Alfortish added.

Alfortish, with Alfortish Enterprises, has been working on the project since the beginning.

"We specialize in cemetery services and marble and granite construction. We assist also in disaster recovery situations like this," Alfortish said.

He and his team are making sure these 15 unidentified individuals can rest in peace from now on.

"We're going to pour some concrete around them. That's going to prevent them from ever coming out the ground again."

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