Lafayette parish family rebuilding their lives one year after Acadiana flooding

Image Credit: Richard Leblanc

LAFAYETTE PARISH (KLFY) – This weekend will be one year since the horrific Acadiana flooding that gave parts of the area 15-20 inches of rainfall in a very short period of time. This led to water in many homes and businesses and even a year later, some local families are still trying to rebuild their lives.

I talked with a local family that has been on a long journey to recovery. The Leblanc family lives in the western parts of Lafayette parish and their neighborhood was hit badly by the flooding. The family received over six inches of water in their home leading to extensive flood and wall damage.

“I remember getting the feeling, wow this is real, this is really happening,” says Kim Leblanc.

Kim and Richard Leblanc have lived in their home for 27 years. Richard says last year’s flooding was the first time their home has ever flooded. According to him, the water started to come into the house through the bedroom.

“We noticed the water starting to come in, along with back-edge of the wall,” says Richard.

“Within two to three hours, we had four inches of water in this room,” added Richard.

The Leblanc family says it took only 30 minutes for the water to completely take over their home.

Their home is not in a high-risk flood zone, but Richard says something told him he should have it.

“I always knew it was a possibility, so I always carried flood insurance,” says Richard.

Chris Mahoney, whose agency sells flood insurance, says close to 50 percent of claims were from people who were not in high-risk flood zones.

“People that lived in neighborhoods that have never flooded, ever not even close, flooded,” says Mahoney.

He says it is something he has never seen before.

“I’ve been doing this for 23 years and I’ve been through a lot of catastrophes and last year’s flood humbled me as an agent,” added Mahoney.

With the help of their insurance, the Leblanc family has been able to rebuild but they say it has been a long journey back.

“The last year has been long, because everything you’ve gotten used to, the way you were living, has changed,” says Richard.

One lesson to take away from the August flooding is that everyone is susceptible to flooding, even those not in high-risk flood zones.

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