When Hurricane Ida slashed through Louisiana, John Schneider wasn't home in Holden keeping guard over his house and studios.

Ironically, actor-singer-producer Schneider and his wife, Alicia Allain, were in Sparta, Tennessee, collecting supplies for flood victims in that state after it saw record rainfall last week. 

The couple returned to Livingston Parish on Monday night to assess their Ida damage.

They didn't get water in the house. They didn't get any at Mrs. Shirley's, the studio's museum and gift shop named after Schneider's late mother.

Although for the latter, there's "a pecan tree the size of Cleveland through the roof," the "Dukes of Hazzard" star said Thursday.

Workers moved the store contents, which include studio, John Schneider and "Dukes" merchandise and memorabilia, to a nearby shed where they set up shop.

The General Lee cut-out decorating the store's roof was undamaged. 

As for the General Lee Dodge Charger (like the iconic, but controversial one used in "Dukes") parked in the front yard of Mrs. Shirley's, another tree landed diagonally across the roof's painted Confederate flag, crushing the top portion of the car.

"We took on water at the campground, water in two large props buildings, but we had built a 4-foot subfloor in those after 2016, so we're doing OK," Schneider said. "The soundstage also has a subfloor."

Meanwhile, the drive-in theater is swamped, but Schneider thinks they should have that going again in about two weeks.

"Right now, they'd have to see a movie in a bass boat," he quipped.

Top stories in Baton Rouge in your inbox

Twice daily we'll send you the day's biggest headlines. Sign up today.

Schneider knows a thing or two about severe weather. The 59-acre property nestled next to the Tickfaw River flooded heavily twice in 2016. So, when Ida marched ashore, he "had the National Weather Service on speed dial" and measured the river levels incessantly over the last four days.

The NWS estimated the river would crest Friday at 21.6 inches, only 6 inches below 2016, Schneider recalled. And that's what he prepared for with Ida.

He was relieved on Thursday when the crest stage was revised downward.

"We've been very fortunate in this mess," he said.

Schneider and his wife returned to Tennessee late Thursday ahead of his performance at Nashville's Grand Ole Opry on Friday night. It's not his first time stepping on the circle to perform, he said. In fact, it's about his 10th.

The studio is going forward with two events previously planned for next weekend. The goal of the Saturday gathering is to celebrate first responders and law enforcement and mourn the lives lost in the 9/11 attacks 20 years ago, he said. The event is free, which Schneider said the community needs now more than ever.

"It's our way of saying thank you," he said. 

The event kicks off at 6 p.m. Sept. 11 at 16050 Florida Blvd. with a meet-and-greet for first responders. The mixer will be followed by a screening of Schneider's last film "Stand On It" and a concert featuring Schneider, Keith Burns and Cody McCarver. Proceeds from photo ops, refreshments and the like will benefit the groups being celebrated.

At 10 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 12, the Church at Addis will launch a satellite church called The Church at Singing Waters on the same property. The name reflects the land's former life as Camp Singing Waters for Girl Scouts.

For more info, visit johnschneiderstudios.com.


Email Judy Bergeron at jbergeron@theadvocate.com.