Arlene Poston and her husband, Scott, got quite the scare this week as Hurricane Ida swept through Louisiana, pummeling her 250-site Hidden Oaks Campground in Hammond, La., with high winds, rain and floodwaters from the Tangipahoa River.
The park is located about an hour’s drive northwest of New Orleans.
“The house is fine, but everything is flooded. We have a lot of trees down and power lines down,” Poston said of the campground, which she purchased July 1 of last year after having a permanent site at the park that she enjoyed on weekends during the previous three years.
“Our house is nine feet off the ground and we had three steps to go before (the floodwaters) got into our house,” Poston told WOODALLSCM.com. “We have four goats. They can’t swim. We have them on our back porch right now.”
Poston’s park is underwater, however, including 150 transient campsites and 100 permanent sites. Her eight cabins are elevated on pylons, but rising floodwaters managed to get inside of them.
“Most of our guests got their campers out (before the storm hit). But some of them weren’t able to,” Poston said, adding that her guests have a mix of travel trailers, fifth wheels and motorhomes.
Although she still has access to piped water with good pressure, Poston is drinking bottled water. She is also having to use her generator for electricity while she waits for the local utility company to restore power.
“Once the power is restored to the campground by the energy company, we have primary lines to be fixed and lines to a lot of sites. Our pool will need to be drained, cleaned and refilled, (our) bathhouses cleaned and (the) pump station repaired. It will be a long recovery,” she said.
While floodwaters have caused considerable damage at her campground, so did the hurricane-force winds.
“We’ve been through hurricanes before. But this was scary because of the trees. We had really heavy winds. We believe there was a tornado that came through. You can see where a bunch of trees were twisted,” she said.
Poston said she won’t really be able to begin cleanup efforts until the floodwaters go down. “Once that happens,” she said, “then we can start cleaning the cabins and the store, cut out the fallen trees and get those hauled off.”
Wildlife in the area has also been affected by the storm. “We have peacocks here that have been up in the trees for about four days now,” Poston said. “We can see them flying from tree to tree. (We’re) hoping the babies survived.”
You can see a slideshow of pictures from the park below.
The National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC) Foundation is seeking donations to help support park owners, like the Postons, who are suffering due to the impact of a natural disaster.
Donations to the ARVC Foundation’s Disaster Relief Fund will go directly to campgrounds affected by these natural disasters.
Campgrounds and communities across the country are being destroyed by natural disasters — from the Dixie Fire and other wildfires currently ripping through California to raging floods in Tennessee
and hurricanes in Florida, Georgia and the northeast, notes ARVC.
Click a specific campaign below to donate to the American Red Cross to support specific local communities in getting the essentials they need as they recover from natural disasters.