Waverly, Tennessee, we know your pain.
The deadly flash flood that killed more than 20 people struck in late August, just as five years ago a hammering rain struck Baton Rouge and surrounding parishes.
In the county west of Nashville, up to 17 inches of rain fell on Saturday, far exceeding the Tennessee record.
“Beyond the human toll, the physical devastation has been nearly impossible to comprehend,” reported The New York Times. “Entire neighborhoods were shredded. Some homes that were still intact were filled with mud and the rancid stench the water left behind.”
We pray for the victims’ families. Our state knows what it feels like, after the devastation of 2016. The flooding that year stretched across the state from St. Tammany on the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain to Calcasieu Parish in the west.
The city of Denham Springs, like little Waverly, was the epicenter of the “rain event,” short and sharp and deadly, almost impossible to predict. The city looked like a lake with roofs showing on the surface.
We are grateful for the national attention to our friends in Tennessee, as we also learned how difficult it is — and the people of Calcasieu Parish know that, too, after devastating Hurricane Laura of 2020 — for a smaller community to get the aid that is necessary to recover and rebuild.
The experience is scarring in the life of a community as in the families directly affected. We pray for them.