It is mid-August 2016, and Louisiana is inundated with a flood of Biblical proportions. According to press reports, the ceaseless rain has killed at least 13, and forced tens of thousands more from their homes. More than two feet of rain has fallen over the course of five days, and forecasts show more possibly coming, which can lead to even more flash flooding. There is basically nowhere for the water to go.
Press reports have also stated that more than 30,000 people have been rescued in the flooding, surely making it one of the country’s largest water rescue operations in history, though I have not seen the statistics to back that claim up.
As a currently-serving member of a municipal water rescue team myself, by way of my city’s paid-professional fire department, that number sounds incredible. In this author’s head, I envision countless water rescue teams, augmented by many civilians in their own boats, spread across the state of Louisiana, picking people off of submerged cars, the roofs of submerged houses, and possibly even from half-submerged trees.
I imagine those teams working 24 hours per day, rotating out with relief crews, and taking breaks only to refuel boats, use the restroom, and cram food and water down their throats. It is tiring and cold work, but extremely rewarding, and I am sure none of the team members — or assisting civilians, for that matter — would rather be anywhere else.