BATON ROUGE, Louisiana — The victims of the Louisiana flooding disaster, which is being deemed the country’s worst natural disaster since Hurricane Sandy, planned to wait-out the storms — but that was before floodwaters proved deadly.
Brett Broussard, a 55-year old from Baton Rouge, was thinking he would simply wait until storms in the region passed, as so many residents do during hurricane season in the state.
Broussard had created a perch on the top of his Baton Rouge mobile home but was not expecting, like thousands of other residents in the area, that the storms would turn deadly when floodwaters continued to rise.
His family members believe he fell from his mobile home and was knocked unconscious, as his body was found not far away submerged in the muddy floodwater, according to the Baton Rouge Advocate.
The Baton Rouge Coroner’s Office said Broussard’s death was due to an accidental drowning.
Broussard is just one of 13 flood victims who have had their lives taken by what residents are calling the “Great Flood of 2016”.
Stacey Ruffin, 44 years-old, was found dead in the floodwaters just 20 feet from where her aunt and mother were clinging to tree branches after escaping from St. Helena Parish.
“She loved her mother,” Ruffin’s aunt said of her in a conversation with Maya Lau. “If you saw her, you saw her mother. They were that close, like two peas in a hull.”
More than half of the flood victims so far who have not survived were killed while drowning in their vehicles.
Ordatha Hoggatt, a 57 year-old from Leesville, Louisiana, was trying to escape flooding in Rapides Parish when she and her toddler grandson got in her car and began driving.
Eventually, two women reportedly heard the screams of what they said sounded like a cat. That’s when they swam towards the screams in the floodwaters and found the toddler clutching a tree, ultimately saving his life.
The Rapides Parish Coroner’s Office soon after found Hoggatt’s body, confirming that she died from drowning.
John Binder is a contributor for Breitbart Texas. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder.