Locals helped visitors during March flood
Published 8:45 am Friday, April 29, 2016
Heroes do come in all shapes and sizes. Ours showed up and rescued us from floodwaters. We live in north Louisiana and were in Bogalusa doing a job at the paper mill. This was the first time we had been in town. We (a friend of course, my son, my husband and myself) rented a cabin on True Light Road for one week.
On March 11, it started raining and we were told that the roads going to the cabin may flood to where we could not get out. We decided to get a motel room for that night because we were afraid we would not get out the next day. We were told it had not rained enough to flood and we would be OK.
This was not the case. We stayed that night and it rained all night long. We got up to roads already flooded. The neighbor next door, Leslie Galloway, tried to help us drive out. There was no way. The roads were already flooded at 5 a.m.
That morning, a young man came walking down the road wading in water knee-deep to tell us that it was going to get bad. This man was Chris Mizell. He talked with us awhile and told us he would come back to get us. This man did not know us, but that didn’t matter to him.
That afternoon, the water was up to the windows of our vehicles. Chris returned in his boat to save us. He told us that we had to go upstream in this flooded, raging Bogue Chitto River. There were trees passing us like large tankers shooting down the river. We made it through to his home, where his family was waiting on the bank to help us unload our belongings that we saved from the water. When my feet hit land, I thought I would collapse.
They helped us to their front porch, where Chris’ wife Stephanie, and their friends, Brad and Melissa Hutchinson and Jill Cooper, had cooked food for us to have after this terrible ordeal. This young man risked his life two more times going back to help others get out as well.
This is for Jill Cooper. This woman did not know us at all. But that didn’t matter. She told us that we could go to her home for the night. She gave all four of us a place to sleep and the next morning loaned us her own truck to try and get to work. She will always be our friend, and we will forever be grateful.
This is to all of you, Chris and Stephanie Mizell, Larry and Leslie Galloway, Brad and Melissa Hutchinson, Jill Cooper and all the children that were there. Thank you can never be enough. You were sent to us by God. You were our guardian angels. God bless you all and hope to see you again soon under better circumstances. You are all welcome any time at our home in Bastrop, Louisiana.
Richard, Vanessa and Larry Kirby, and Donnie James