Homeowner says pack up valuables, lift furniture to avoid flood losses

Homeowner says pack up valuables, lift furniture to avoid flood losses
(Source: Lisa Sylve)

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - It’s a lesson many people in the Baton Rouge area have learned all too well: surviving a flood.

Lessons learned from the August 2016 flood

One homeowner in Walker has a few tips that could help if flood waters start to creep in.

Lisa Sylve and her husband moved to Walker in a small neighborhood after surviving Hurricane Katrina. Just two years after the Sylves moved, their home flooded. That was in 2008 and it wasn’t a flood zone then, but nowadays, old rainwater rests in a ditch.

(Source: Lisa Sylve)
(Source: Lisa Sylve)

“It was always enough just to make a mess,” she said. “Just two, three, or four inches," Sylve said.

If you think major flooding in two years is bad, just read this: “I think 2010 we were hit twice and I believe it was 2013 we were hit twice," she said.

Water didn’t even skip their house in 2016. This couple has been forced to start over more times than the average couple should. At this point, the Sylves have learned a thing or two about saving items they value when floodwaters threaten their home.

“My husband went ahead and just cut out the sheet rock, took out the insulation, and put the wood up so it’d be easier if it flooded again,” Sylve explained.

The majority of the carpet in their home is gone. It’s just easier to clean up floodwater with ceramic tile and when it comes to things you value, Sylve says. She also suggests packing up those valuables because, at the last minute, it’s most likely too late.

“Pictures, jewelry, things that mean a lot to you,” she said. “Pack it up and put it up in the attic. We put a lot of stuff in the attic. It might have been thrown up there, but it’s up there.”

(Source: Lisa Sylve)
(Source: Lisa Sylve)

Despite all that, back in June when the parish was drenched with rain, they flooded again. The only room that still had a carpet at the time doesn’t have carpet anymore. And yet again, the Sylves are learning a lesson they’ve already been taught.

“I put my foot down over my bed and it was to my ankle in water,” Sylve said.

After that most recent flooding, Sylve’s husband put wood under the furniture to lift it off the ground. She says they have plans to do the same throughout the house.

“I’m also going to be picking up things in the closet and on the floor," she said.

Sylve says even if you haven’t been a flood victim and you don’t live in a flood zone, don’t think you’re immune from taking on a few inches. The Sylves have flooded in Walker a total of six times.

“Don’t ever think you won’t flood, not in Louisiana,” she said. “My husband says, ‘How much can a man be stretched?’ He asked our pastor and our pastor said, ‘Have you popped yet?’ My husband said, ‘No.’ And the pastor said, ‘Well you have a way to go.’”

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