BLACK VOICES

Displaced Louisiana Resident Critiques Scant National Media Coverage Of Floods

“You see celebrities getting more coverage than we are right now."

Amid historic rainfall and flooding in his town, Louisiana resident Cody Bourgeois was forced to evacuate his home, but quickly realized he left one of his most important possessions behind ― his mother’s urn.

HuffPost’s Jacques Morel accompanied Bourgeois as he trekked back to his home in St. Amant, Louisiana roughly 30 miles outside of Baton Rouge, to retrieve the urn on Wednesday. During the journey through the murky floodwater, Bourgeois critiqued the subpar media attention on the flooding that has ravaged his home state and killed at least 13 people thus far. 

“I think we should be getting more national coverage,” the 20-year-old told Morel.

Although tens of thousands of residents have been displaced, Bourgeois lamented that celebrities seem to be “getting more coverage than we are right now.”

“The other day I saw that CNN posted [and] the only thing they said was an actor from Baton Rouge loses his home due to flooding and all they did was focus on him,” he said. “They didn’t focus on all the heartbreak going around this city, all the others and thousands of people that have been losing their homes.”

People like Bourgeois, whose homes were not in designated high-risk flood zones, were especially unprepared for the rising water.

“Where we’re at right now is not considered a flood zone,” he said. “Most of the people here don’t have flood insurance because they’re not required to because this area doesn’t flood.” 

Despite the destruction he’s witnessed in the past week, which the Red Cross deemed to be the worst natural disaster in the United States since Hurricane Sandy in 2012, Bourgeois was moved by the way his community has pulled through.

“Every time you get a big flood or you get a hurricane, we all just come together,” he said. “And after the recent events that have been going on across the nation especially in Baton Rouge, with all the police shootings and all, I feel happy to see everyone finally coming together after such dark times for a city like this.” 

Bourgeois’ hour-long boat ride ended on a happy note. After searching through his home, he emerged smiling with his mother’s urn in hand.

“It’s a little wet but ... all that counts is that it’s still here...,” he said. “That’s the one thing that counted in all this.  

Hear from Bourgeois in the video clip above and check out the full livestream here 

HuffPost

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