A team of 40 UL Lafayette students and their instructor are releasing a podcast chronicling the 2016 floods through the eyes of those who experienced the disaster first hand. UNDERWATER: Memories of the 2016 Floods is the result of over a hundred interviews. Assistant History Professor Dr. Liz Skilton says each podcast takes a look at a different flood zone.
“The first instalment is out and focuses on Lafayette, and there will be other ones that focus on Baton Rouge, Denham Springs, and the Walker area, as well as other places in Acadiana.”
The podcast follows the devastation left in the wake of floods that claimed 13 lives and more than 8.7 billion dollars in damages across the hardest hit parishes. Skilton says the program weaves together a narrative that reveals just how widespread the problems were, and how communities responded in the aftermath.
“They were devastating on an individual level, they were devastating on a community level, and we put all of these memories together, these individual memories and experiences so we can see how this effected all of us.”
The team complied the interviews as part of the school’s “History Harvests” where students go out into the community to document and record local stories.
The podcast idea came from the students, who also edited the shows. Skilton says it’s full of personal stories of terror and triumph that will remind folks no matter how small the gesture, anything you can do to help during and after disaster can change a life.
“Helping out at the animal shelter, and you didn’t think that was a big deal but in the grand scheme of things you’re helping in this one significant way.”
The podcast is available on their website, and on SoundCloud.