BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Instead of enjoying the Labor Day holiday, many of those affected by the flood devoted their day to gutting and fixing up homes. Volunteers from across the nation also gave up their holiday to help.
"I mean it's just a great impact. You lose everything but you start over," said Baton Rouge resident Carlous James.
The debris pile was almost as high as the home behind it, representing 19 years worth of belongings for James. He lost nearly everything in the flood.
"The first week or so I was devastated but now I'm better," James said.
Now, James said he is ready to move on and rebuild. He has help from a Southern Baptist Disaster Relief Crew out of Alabama.
Since the flood, Southern Baptist has helped hundreds of families with this process.
"It's called 'Mud Out.' It's flood recovery. We go in and assess the home and see what we need to tear out -- sheetrock, insulation, flooring, removal of furniture. Those kinds of odds and ends," explained Chuck Locke, team captain of the relief crew.
"You get to meet people at their need," James added. "Any type of barrier, whether it be racial, socioeconomic, they're dissolved. You just get in here and you sweat with them and you work with them and you see if you can help them out."
Together, spending their Labor Day holiday laboring towards a new home and a new journey for James and his family.
"Ooh, makes me heart overwhelmed. I can't thank them enough," James said. "Every time I pass them in either room, I tell them thank you because I know they should be somewhere else you know. I mean but it's good to have someone to help you."
There are crews from at least 10 different states assisting with mudout relief. Southern Baptist Disaster Relief is also working at Istrouma Baptist Church to prepare hot meals for flood victims.