Incoming LSU infielder Josh Smith woke up Saturday morning to his father telling him they needed to prepare for a flood.
About 10 hours later, he needed to leave his home in a boat being operated by the National Guard.
Smith, a highly-regarded infielder from Catholic High, said the water near his Central home was in the streets when his father woke him up and told him to get ready to move furniture.
Eight-hundred miles away from a hometown he’d previously never left, Josh Smith endures some…
“About 30 minutes later, it was halfway up our driveway and that was when we noticed the water was probably going to come in,” Smith said.
The water rose fast. Smith said he and his dad only had about an hour to move the things they wanted to preserve to the attic before the water started seeping into the house.
When the water came, Smith said his neighbors took in his grandmother and put her in an upstairs bedroom until help could arrive.
“My neighbors were awesome in this,” Smith said.
His mother and grandmother caught a ride to dry ground while Smith and his father stayed behind to salvage what they could, all the while staying in touch with LSU baseball coach Paul Mainieri.
“I kept in touch with him and let him know I was safe and that my family was all right,” Smith said. “It’s pretty cool he’d care that much about our family to let us know, and he actually offered to help.”
The National Guard arrived by about 6 p.m. to take Smith, his father and his dog out of the house. The rescue had a surreal feeling to Smith.
“It was unreal, it was like a movie,” Smith said. “The stuff you saw on the news during Katrina, you thought it would never happen to you.”
After staying a couple nights with family friends out near the University Club in Baton Rouge, Smith and his family were back at their house Monday.
As he and his family dealt with the aftermath of the flooding — ripping up wood floors and throwing out soiled furniture — he still considered himself lucky compared to what some others had to go through.
“We got blessed,” Smith said. “We probably only got a little under a foot of water at our house and some people are having it a lot worse than us.”
Mainieri said Smith was the only member of the team directly affected, though Brennan Breaux went home to Lafayette to help some family impacted by the flooding there.
That includes the LSU baseball coaching staff, all of whom managed to get through the storm without being displaced or having their homes take on water.
Mainieri added that the LSU baseball facilities “survived the storm without any major damage.”