Louisiana Flood 2016

After reading about the flooding in Louisiana, Nicholas booked a flight to Baton Rouge where he spent time with families and individuals who had been affected by the flood. One woman was separated from her children when she went out to get extra food thinking they might get rained in. Less than two hours later, the water was chest- high and she couldn’t get home. Luckily, her Mother was close enough to get the chil- dren and take them to a shelter.
In East Baton Rouge with a National Guard unit, Nicholas overheard two men talking about neighborhoods that were still underwater a little further south east. So Nicholas drove until he came to a road closure. The highway looked like a lake. Two men were unloading a boat and offered Nicholas a ride. They were looking for people to help. The water had risen so high that the river and the neighborhoods were all part of the same waterway now.

One of the hardest hit areas was Denham Springs. Nicholas drove down streets lined with ruined furnishings and personal items of people’s homes. Neighbors comfort- ed and helped each other. At the end of a long block of wreckage was an American flag flying from the back of a pick up truck. Nicholas met a kid named Sammy Jr. Despite losing his drum kit in the flood, there he was drumming away on the concrete. An older gentleman told him, “thirty years of memories, down the drain.” He had been to work early that morning and made it clear that he had to, “keep moving forward.” Residents spent days helping each other prepare to rebuild. Some homes remained untouched with water marks leaving a haunting reminder that the street was underwater just a few

days ago. Despite all the devastation, Nicholas says he witnessed resilience and pride, but what was most inspiring was Sammy Jr.— hopeful and brave.

About the author:
Nicholas Small is a twenty year old photographer based out of Los Angeles, California. He started making images at the age of twelve after discovering his father’s Nikon film camera. As a kid, Nicholas worked in darkrooms at local schools and honed his skills on film. He is currently exploring Ghettos in America and occasionally covers breaking news.
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