While several parts of western Louisiana saw heavy rains bring floods this week, resulting in cars getting stranded and streets flooded, one father found an ingenious solution to pick his daughter and a friend’s kid up from school.
Posted Monday on Twitter, a video of the excursion shows the father, dressed in a yellow raincoat, drag the kayak with the kids onboard through flooded streets as he wades toward his house in knee-deep water. The father was filmed taking his kids home on Common Street in Lake Charles, Louisiana.
The man recording the video asked the father, “Did you just pick them up from school?”
“Yeah,” the father shouted back before both men told each other to stay safe.
The trip to T.S. Cooley Elementary School would usually take 15 minutes for Danny Bartlett of Lake Charles, the father in the video, according to The Advocate. However, that Monday, it took two hours for Bartlett to ferry his 7-year-old daughter, Kinsley, and a friend’s daughter of the same grade home because roads to the school were completely flooded.
A father picking up his kids from school using a kayak on flooded Common St. in Lake Charles, Louisiana. pic.twitter.com/zb4RkBRx4S
— Jeremy Babineaux (@jeremybabs) May 17, 2021
“I was a dad determined to get his kid,” Bartlett told The Advocate. “That’s all that was on my mind.”
By Saturday, the video garnered more than 165,000 views, 4,400 thousand likes and 1,500 retweets.
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Certain sections of Lake Charles saw rainfall go up to 15 inches on Monday with at least 200 people needing rescue. Lake Charles is still recovering from hurricanes in 2020 that destroyed parts of the town.
The storm on Monday went beyond what anybody in the town, which is still in recovery, expected.
“It’s just been one thing after another after another after another,” Bartlett said. “As a community, you get to a point where you get hit in the gut so much, you learn to come together. Everybody is their brother’s keeper.”
On Friday, 500 houses — up to 1,000 people in the Bayou Sorrel and Bayou Pigeon areas — were given mandatory evacuation orders as a dam system erected along Louisiana Highway 75 in Iberville Parish to hold back water from the Intracoastal Waterway was breached around 10 a.m. local time, ABC News reported.
Of the five, four deaths were due to people driving right into high water, according to Gov. John Bel Edwards.
The rainfall and related flooding affected the states of Louisiana, Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas, The Associated Press reported.
According to the AP, at least 15 people had to be rescued late Tuesday and early Wednesday in central Arkansas from flash floods following heavy downpours.
Fortunately, there were no reported injuries, according to the news outlet.
My San Antonio reported parts of Texas too saw flooding this week with videos circulating on social media showing a car submerged in floodwater on Wednesday, according to My San Antonio.