Franklinton residents rescued as water rises


Posted on August 31, 2012 at 10:24 PM

Updated Friday, Aug 31 at 10:41 PM

Monica Hernandez / Eyewitness News
Email: | Twitter: @mhernandezwwl

FRANKLINTON, La. -- People being rescued by boat, carrying what they can, as the swollen Bogue Chitto River swallows their homes.

Tina Corkern says this business, surrounding by rising water, is all she has left. Her home was destroyed in a tornado last year.

“Heartbreak, hurt,” said Corkern. “It's what's left. It's high. It's gone. And it's not just me, it's all these people. You know. Just sad.”

All these people nearly 130 homes, flooded in this valley near Franklinton. Many of them stranded for hours, sitting on the side of the road with nowhere else to go.

“Last night I slept in the truck, tonight, we're spreading out,” said Sharon Wilson.

Wilson saw her television and the rest of her appliances swept away in the flood.

“Happened to look, was my TV, next time you know, here comes the washing machine, and I said that can't be the washing machine,” Wilson said. “You’ve already seen the TV. I can't believe this is happening.”

Robbie Lesage, a volunteer firefighter, rescued a man clinging to a fence early this morning while his own home was destroyed in the flood.

“It's a tragedy,” he said, “and a lot of people lost every single thing that they have, and they grossly underestimated what was going to happen here. We were told it was going to crest last night at 1 a.m., yet the water is still rising. I have a hard time believing there is no one here, no FEMA, no National Guard, no nobody. “

“Actually we had probably the most advanced notice we ever had here on Bogue Chitto River,” said Thomas Thiebaud, director of emergency management and homeland security in Washington Parish.

Meanwhile, cars flooded by the fast moving waters are normally on what's considered higher ground. We spotted part of a porch floating away, and neighbors say the woman who owns one flooded home is battling cancer and just rebuilt after a fire ravaged her house.

It’s a reason for this close-knit community to band together in a time of tragedy.

“Just pray, pray for all of us, because we all need it."