Part 1 – Part 2 – Part 3 – Part 4
The waters are still high and now Evans, Louisiana is dealing with it’s record flooding. Merryville, Louisiana is getting it as well and towns south of here, such as Deweyville are also going to experience them. The governor is taking flight over the affected area and many people are trying to figure out their next steps. I spoke with some of my uncles, aunts, cousins and friends and they are lost, but they are not stopping. People are helping out at what I believe to be a record rate of participation. In fact, the help has seemingly outpaced the need in some aspects as the hubs of assistance in Evans and Burr Ferry are practically begging for people to come get clothes and food. They need some things like underwear and other necessities, but I visited the Evans Youth Center yesterday and they looked rather flush with supplies. It was a good sight to see.
This article’s title is “A Community In Turmoil?” because the interrogative meaning really lends to the idea – is the community truly in turmoil, or have we come together so tightly, that we have already begun to bounce back?
The hard work is not here yet, but at this rate, we should be able to transition strongly into revival.
As always, click images to get the bigger, more pretty versions.
Me and my nephew, Bowen, went back into the neighborhood to see how far the water had receded. This is the view of Lynn Nash Road. Muddy and completely submerged. The water is swift and dangerous and falling as the Sabine River Authority steadily lowers the flood gates. The water in this photo is still at a record height.
This was a lens check on the way to Evans with my nephew. The bright orange light in the background is the warning sign declaring that the road is closed. This is in reference to the Burr Ferry river bridge to Texas being closed more than anything. This photo became my new desktop because the way my camera illogically focused on the water droplets instead of the sign made it feel more artsy than anything. The rain is a reminder that nature doesn’t take a time out.
This is a shot of the shoreline at Anacoco Lake. The drift wood that is blocking that boat landing shows us that the rainfall lifted our smaller lakes to record levels.
Soil erosion is going to be a major issue to deal with when the flood waters go down in Burr Ferry and Evans. In this photo, however, the soil erosion caused by all the rain alone will have an effect on areas that are not currently being flooded. You can see in the background that one of the docks are still underwater.
Someone’s boat house on Anacoco Lake. Even people on the lakes of Vernon Parish experienced some flooding of their property, however, the most extreme degree of flooding comes from those living south of the Toledo Bend Reservoir.
This is on Anacoco Lake. The water was a lot higher than this during the thick of the rain, and I believe this camper most likely received water.
I am not entirely sure how to read that meter. But there it is. This is actually the first time I have seen the Anacoco Lake Spillway from the bank. If the bank is any indicator, it was definitely close to that 202 mark, which as alarming amount of water.
While not the 200,000 + gallons per second Toledo Bend was dumping into my parent’s yard, this is still a great amount of water and a lot of power dumping into Anacoco Creek. Anacoco Lake was so flooded that it swamped the Highway 8 RV park and flooded HWY 464.
The image may not look significant, but my nephew, Bowen Farquhar, pointed out to me that they were moving way more than usual, an indicator that the current at that point, some 50 yards away from the spillway, was extremely powerful. Remember, this was at a point where the water had receded closer to normal heights.
This is at Vernon Lake. Someone decided to not be deterred by the Lake’s abnormal height. The dock is just barely out of water. It’s almost like this guy was sitting in his truck waiting to see the boards clear the water.
A friend and not so close neighbor that lives on Vernon Lake, Herman Kealaula, snapped a photo of these islands when the water was at the peak. They were completed submerged – only the trees were sticking out of the water. That’s at least a 5-6 foot rise in lake water by my best estimate.
This is a shot of where the water may have crested as debris caught up. It’s a great indicator of the water’s height. Vernon Lake is never this high.
Again, I am not a “lake measuring instrument expert, but I bet the water was sitting at at least the 254 mark. This is a significant amount of water and I would have enjoyed seeing it. The rain from this storm was predicted a week and a half earlier than it’s arrival, and the amount of water in these lake photos is an example of how much came down without the help of Toledo Bend.
Water is a powerful force of nature and seeing it rush down into the stream below (Google refers to it as Anacoco Bayou), is very sobering. In the back you can see the trees did not fare well.
I and Bowen pulled over near this bridge on HWY 8 near my home. I don’t know is this creek has a name. Google still says “Anacoco Bayou.” I’ve always kindly referred to it as that “big ass river thing running under that big ass bridge.” Anyhow, as you can see, we were dealing with more rain. The destruction of the flooding here was strong. There were a lot of trees here – there aren’t anymore. The night of the flood must have really jacked up the water height here as well. Actually, this spot fills quickly, but it never has a current to it. The current to it at this time was noticeable. I just got off the phone with my dad. It’s Anacoco Creek, but for official purposes I will stick with the Bayou moniker.
This is all flood debris caught on barbwire fencing and trees. See how there is no sign of water? Yet not less than two days prior, this entire spot was dealing with flooding from record rain falls. Toledo Bend had been notified of the weather coming, but they waited on it to get here. Seeing this picture is a sickening example of why they can’t wait on weather. The water had to have been at least 6-8 feet to get here.
This is the Anacoco Lake RV Park off of HWY 8. I had this expensive bass boat photographed halfway underwater. I’m glad the boat didn’t get away, but the owner will have a hell of a time getting it back on the trailer.
This was the boat shed I photographed in the last article about the floods. This shed shows that the water has fallen four to five feet with several more feet to go to return to normal levels. The boat is swamped, but definitely recoverable.
There was a great deal of sand covering the boat landing at Anacoco Lake. The water was still insanely high, but I joked with Bowen that the red pips that show the width of the landing were there, so we could finally put a boat in.
There’s the man of the hour. My nephew chauffeured me around for these photos and we eventually landed in Evans, LA. This is where my school is. This is where my mother and the Thompson side of my family hails from. This photo was to show all of the cars and trucks lined up, waiting to get their boats, or just to take photos of the water over Yvonne Bonner Rd and Jarrell Lp. This is a significant area to flood and if I am not mistaken, this is the most densely populated area in the area of Evans and Burr Ferry. My nephew was concerned about us being here because he was afraid of being in the way. He’s such a nice guy.
Apparently there was a fishing tournament being held on Yvonne Bonner Rd that was poorly marketed. Okay, that was a terrible joke, but the amount of people here, the amount of boats launching off – this is a testament to how many people live on the road. I bet we could have thumbed a ride with some of them for photos, but I wanted to keep moving to different areas. All of this water? It’s not from rain. Every drop is from the release of water at the Toledo Bend Reservoir.
This photo is interesting to me because me and Bowen walked into these people’s yard and I could overhear the lady saying “These people ain’t got no fucking business being back there. They don’t live back there.” I think this was there house, but we left after that. People were pulling up in their yard and tearing it up by getting their trucks stuck. I had heard rumor than Evans was experiencing issues with looting, but I am not sure if those rumors were true. Her attitude of the situation was another reason I did not want to boat back there. At this point I felt only people that lived in the area should be back there. Also, we would probably run over something that would kill my dad’s little boat motor.
This is a shot of Jarrell Loop. My Uncle Carl and Uncle Larry live back there. I had heard that my Uncle Carl was busy trying to help the community out with things while his own house was washed asunder. They will have to restart, just like my parents. My Uncle Larry told me the highest the water ever rose on his land was right under his trailer. This flood put the water almost up to the roof of his trailer. That is an astonishing contrast of rising water.
This is after the waters left Lynn Davis Rd. It left a pretty nasty washout.
This is a pond across the road from my sister’s house. I believe this was my Uncle Willy’s pond, but I am not sure. The levy broke pretty big and every drop of water rushed out. Just more devastation from the rain itself, not just from the Sabine River Authority.
We visited the youth center at Evans. Some kids were playing basketball and just trying to have some fun. In the background are clothes galore and people were looking through them. This shows that the community was working to help each other.
A better shot of the clothes donated. There were tables of toiletries and clothes ready for people in need to claim them. People were still bringing stuff in. I believe the center was having more stuff brought in that being taken, and eventually, they also brought in cots for people to have a place to sleep.
I’m not sure what they were serving, but food was readily available for those who were hungry. A great many of people were volunteering and trying to get everything coordinated in order to make everything function. In fact, while we were there, one of the women stood on a table and started yelling at people to do something, but it was directions for the volunteer workers. She seemed to have everything under control.
I was surprised to see toys, but I was stumped by the number of toys. There were so many toys for kids. It makes sense, though, because not only did a lot of mommas and daddies lose their homes and belongings, a lot of babies and younger kids lost all of their toys as well. This scene kind of breaks my heart when I think about it.
To my Burr Ferry Bunch that is working their tails off, I have not forgotten about you. I hope to get some photos of the scene at Burr Ferry Pentecostal Church and I want to give props to my cousin Jason Nash for working himself to death trying to volunteer at the church while acting as one of the coordinators for many of the things going on. From laundry pick up to managing an onslaught of food that is coming in faster than it is going out, Jason has been pushed into public service at a level that I believe he was not even ready for.
I want to thank my Uncle Carl for his nonstop effort to get information together for FEMA and other assistance. He was pulling his boat everywhere, taking photos of everything he could in order to get an accurate estimate of the damage. He was doing this knowing that at the end of the day, he wouldn’t be going home anymore, just to a measly hotel.
Much Kudos to Amanda Conn for getting her students at Pickering out on the scene to help, along with many other high school groups and students volunteering their time. I want to get my JAG students on board to help and hopefully, I can find something. This is what community service is.
A community in turmoil? Unlikely. We are a community in unity.
Please be safe, and be strong. The next few weeks will be very hard for many.
Photographs taken by John Nash.
Oh, by the way, if you made it to the bottom, I would really appreciate it if you visited some of these Go Fund Me Pages. The first link is to help my parents fund their plans to restart, but the others I link are ones that I have seen scroll across my Facebook Feed. If you know of anyone running a Go Fund Me campaign to recover, leave it in the comments!
My Parent’s Page, Kelly’s and Sharon’s Utilities Assistance
A College Friend is Selling Things to Donate to Go Fund Me Pages
A Fund for Students of Evans High School
This is to Assist the Prewitt Family
Jessica Gray, On Toro Bayou, Needs Your Help
Christine Jones, Who is About to Have Twins, Needs Assistance