Shouts From The Stands: Please Help Louisiana


This may be a swimming media website, but this also is as a way to get voices heard. The flooding in Louisiana has taken a backseat in much of the national media coverage, and if it takes a swimming website like SwimSwam to reach people, so be it.

For one moment, put down your work and read. Think about this as if it happened to you. Look at these pictures, and think “what if that was my home, my community, my life.”

I don’t know enough about the situation to talk on it. I don’t know enough about the damages that have happened across the state. Pictures certainly show how bad it actually is, but from what my friends and teammates have told me, it does not do it justice. The flood of Louisiana has destroyed the homes of thousands, taken away lives, and ruined schools, churches, and businesses. This woman, who was born and raised in Baton Rouge, explains her frustrations, but also the situation very well.

I lived for four years in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. I flew in on a one-way ticket when I was 18 years old, and I flew out on a one-way ticket when I was 22. On both accounts, I wished for those tickets to be a round trip. On both accounts, I wanted to go back to my “home.” When I was 18 that home was Monticello, Minnesota. And now, after months of moving out and graduating, Baton Rouge is still my home.

I spent my years in Baton Rouge as a member of the LSU swim team. In a way, that team resembles all that is Louisiana. Were there days when the team was fighting, and problems occurred? Sure. But when there was a crisis, something like the flood, on our team, we all came together and fixed it. Louisiana citizens are doing the same thing right now. Are there times when the state is maybe not all on the same page (i.e like a month ago when there were riots in the street)? Sure. But right now, when EVERYONE in that state is suffering, they have all come together and are resilient (this video shows a man pulling a woman and her dog out of her sinking car.)

The LSU swimming and diving team (and other LSU sports) have spent the last week not only training so hard in the water, preparing for season to start, but they have spent their ‘down time’ cleaning up homes and the neighborhoods. They have spent their time building not only peoples homes back up, but their spirits as well.

Even Alabama, the Crimson Tide, who has been LSU’s rivals, are asking people for help. Players on their football team that were born and raised in Baton Rouge and other parts of South Louisiana are asking for help on behalf of Louisiana.

Last year, during my senior year, South Carolina was in need of some help, and Louisiana reached out to help them. LSU was supposed to travel to South Carolina for their football game, but instead, the game was hosted at Tiger Stadium. Everyone in the stands was supportive, hospitable and helpful to the team and their fans. And now, South Carolina is giving back.  They are accepting all donations, and will be sending them in to Louisiana to offer up in aid.

There have been so many electrical fires caused from flood. Coffins have been unearthed- and are now floating in the streets.

Louisiana is in need. Although their spirits are high, and the citizens are persevering through this devastation, that does not take away from the fact that one of our countries states, the state I love so very much, is hurting. If you would like to donate to Louisiana, there are so many ways to do so. 

Louisiana has been through enough. This country frankly has. For just one moment, let this story take precedence over if Ryan Lochte lied or not, or if Michael Phelps is coming out of retirement.

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confused by the picture of this article


Thank you and amen


Thank you for posting this. Will the Olympics, the election and the fact that August is a huge vacation month, this has not been getting the attention it deserves

About Caley Oquist

Caley Oquist

Caley Oquist grew up in a small town in Central Minnesota where she learned to swim at the age of four. She found her passion to write when her mother was diagnosed with cancer at the age of nine and has been writing ever since. Apart from her love for …

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