Tourists help local flood victims rebuild
BATON ROUGE - Volunteers have crossed states and even countries to help those who have lost everything in the recent historic flood.
Gutting out flooded homes is not exactly what one would call a vacation, but some French tourists are adding that to the list of things to do while in the state. Louisiana was only supposed to be a pit stop for the tourists, but the damage they heard about while in France was hard to ignore.
Even though it's the travelers' first time in the United States and only have 10 days, lending a helping hand is a priority for them.
"It's a state of mind. I think it's normal to help people in distress," Michael Deoliveira, volunteer from France said.
Homeowner Velma Gray said she was grateful for the travelers' help.
"It's been two weeks and I've been doing it a lot by myself and I feel so grateful I have volunteers this morning to come and as many that showed up, I was just really amazed," Gray said.
The French tourists say they plan on spending two days of their vacation to help with gutting homes.
Hugh Doherty and his daughter also traveled to the state from New Jersey to lend a helping hand.
"She brings the beauty. I'm the strength, or wisdom, or the muscle," Doherty said.
The two are familiar with rebuilding as they lived in New Jersey when Superstorm Sandy hit their home.
"We know what happens with people after their lives are turned upside down," Doherty said.