Hammond flood survivor is trying to remain positive

Zayn Abidin

With her newborn baby in tow, Quam Lynn Ceasar, evacuated her newly built house in the Robert neighborhood of Hammond post severe weather alerts for the area

Ceasar thought she was leaving to stay with her family in the Westbank, for what might be just a couple of days, but fate had something else in store for her.

On March 11, Tangipahoa Parish saw what the experts called, a historic flash flood event that resulted in several deaths and thousands of home completely damaged due to high water levels. Unbeknownst to Ceasar, her home was one of them.

“After it happened, just watching the news, they didn’t cover this area. They were covering Bogalusaand Covington, so I thought that we were spared,” Ceasar said.

But a day later, while watching the nightly news she saw coverage of her area, specifically her street, which was completely submerged in water.

“That’s when I found out about it, and still had hope then because we couldn’t come in because the roads were closed. So, I was hoping that I was spared this time, but no, I wasn’t,” Ceasar said.

Although Ceasar’s initial reaction to finding out about the damage to her house was shock and dismay, however she quickly regained her positivity and began to look for a silver lining in the midst of this catastrophe.

“I have my moments but just knowing that I’m spared and that my baby is Ok, that makes it better. It could be worse, it always could be,” Ceasar said.

She added that it is hard to deal with this situation on her own as a single mother and try to rebuild again especially because this year has not had a good start for her.

“This year so far has been an eventful one for me, period. So, I do question it as to why? But when I do start to question it, I think of the positive thing that has happened to me, which is having my baby,”Ceasar said.

She has started the rebuilding process, just like many other residents in her area, and expects for everything to be finished in three to four months.

Lloyd Tournet, residential building contractor, thinks that it can happen sooner than that.

“From a construction standpoint, if we’re able to get to a house immediately from the day we start demo and then do the dry-out process, it should take approximately one to two months, just depending on certain situations,” Tournet said.

With the rebuilding process underway, Ceasar plans to stay with her family in the Westbank and get back to her nursing job at Touro Hospital within a few days.

To all those who might be going through a similar situation like hers, Ceasar said there is only way to get through this.

“It’s very simple, just keep your head up. You can lose a family member in this disaster and it would just make it a whole lot worse, so just try to stay positive as much as you can,” Ceasar said.