As someone who had never come even remotely close to a true flood before, I thought nothing of the doom-and-gloom predictions coming from local meteorologists. I had survived countless major hurricanes unscathed. An unnamed storm couldn’t do anything to my city, right?
As I sat in my office Friday afternoon, watching the creek behind us swell, I figured I’d walk out in a few hours and the onslaught of water will have dissipated and all would be normal. Instead, just 12 hours later on Saturday morning, I found myself relying on the resilience of a Yukon XL as my father and I forced our way down a flooded street onto a flooded interstate with water nearing our windows.
It wasn’t my house that was at risk, but rather that of my grandmother’s. We had arrived while the water was barely flowing over the road. Within the 30 minutes we were at her home, the flooding hit its groove. She ended up losing everything, and my home, just a mere 10 minutes away, was miraculously spared while most of my neighbors were not so lucky.
Louisiana State University’s rush was delayed almost two weeks as the chapters assisted members and complete strangers. Nothing was normal, but everything was going to be okay. The Greek community took care of one another and their fellow students. It was all about helping those who had just lost everything.
From LSU Now:
When members of LSU Greek Life helped assist in community recovery efforts following Louisiana’s August flood, Christopher Dedo, president of the University’s Sigma Phi Epsilon chapter, said fraternities’ frequently negative press was the last thing on the minds of devastated homeowners.
“The media so often paints us in a bad light or sees the sensational stories that get out there of what’s going on,” Dedo said. “But when people get to see that we’re out there taking apart their house, and we don’t even know who they are, they’re usually blown away because they have this preconception of what Greek Life is and how it’s just about the parties and the ‘paying for friends.’”
Overall, LSU Greeks gutted at least 50 flooded homes, not a small feat by any means.
Many LSU sororities also went as far as suspending their Rush Workshop for a day or two, allowing and encouraging their members to go out into the community to assist those who need it most. It was such an incredible sight and something I will always remember.
After so much negative publicity over the last year, including major budget cuts and the botched firing of Les Miles, and an incredibly hostile summer that included the killings of Alton Sterling and three Baton Rouge police officers, the university needed a bonding moment. It got just that and rose to the occasion more than anyone could’ve ever dreamed.
[via LSU Now]
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