ST. TAMMANY, La. -- Areas of three cities in St. Tammany Parish were drowning a year ago, while several unincorporated areas suffered the same fate at the hands of Hurricane Isaac.
'What really, really turned it for me was the velocity of the water rolling down my driveway,' said Madisonville resident Mary Kay Holmes. 'It turned into the river. We were draining, it seemed to me, the entire river.'
That was the experience in Madisonville a year ago as the Tchefuncte River flooded dozens of homes and forced rescues under the fury of Hurricane Isaac. Across St. Tammany Parish, rising water and rescues were also underway in the Indian Village area of Slidell.
Lake Pontchartrain later washed into Old Mandeville and eventually snuck its way into Lacombe. Then bayous backed up into Olde Towne Slidell.
'It literally pushed up. These floors were buckled up. The water came up that way,' said Holmes.
She's one of many re-living the experience today and still trying to recover.
'It's quite a process raising a house,' she said. 'I've learned a lot. It's something I wouldn't advise for the faint of heart, but it's necessary given what I believe can happen again.'
There's a lot of progress that can be found across St. Tammany, like in Madisonville, but there's also a lot of stand-still. For people trying to come back, that's most frustrating.
'We don't have a Road Home program,' Holmes said. 'It's almost as if Isaac did not exist in some conversations.'
For many, there is a hope to avoid storm trouble in the future, but for now, there's just an effort to get back home.
The parish reports 3,800 homes were damaged in the storm, 2,800 of those in unincorporated areas of St. Tammany.