St. Amant was ravished by what is being called "The Great Flood of 2016".
As water stood in homes for extended periods of time, the area of Ascension Parish was considered a disaster zone. The wreckage put the St. Amant Volunteer Fire Dept. to work harder than normal, and the country not only noticed these efforts, but pitched in to ease some of the stress.
During the last week of August, firefighters from New York and Mississippi coincidentally simultaneously donated gear and supplies to the ever-hardworking volunteers who help keep St. Amant safe.
Volunteer firefighters from Collins County, Miss traveled to St. Amant to donate fire gear, EMS equipment and supplies, while firefighters from New York traveled to the Ascension community to help pay Louisiana back for their efforts during 9/11 event. The NYFD also donated fire gear and EMS equipment to the members of the St. Amant Volunteer Fire Dept.
The Collins Volunteer Fire Dept. actually made two trips to Ascension, including one to bring supplies to the Sorrento Fire Dept.
New York Fire Line Officers Jeff Dilavore and Brian Welliver stayed with the St. Amant firefighters for several days and helped them work on their fire stations and homes.
The flood damaged all three fire stations in the St. Amant community, and the stations have been considered losses, according to St. Amant Fire Chief, James LeBlanc.
“Our hearts are shattered, but our faith is strong," LeBlanc said.
New York delivered 23 sets of turnout gear, 26 pairs of boots and other assorted EMS supplies and equipment.
"We have met some incredible people here in such a short period of time," said New York Chief Officer Jeff Dilavore. "True Southern Hospitality at its finest."
In the same week the two fire departments were assisting their brethren, a group of high school students from Cossatot River High School in Arkansas, gathered household items for the St. Amant community.
Arkansas students Jackie Wilkerson, Abby Dallyn Taylor, Landrie Lee Tadlock and Haley Warren headed up the supply donation drive, then drove to St. Amant and delivered the items to the St. Amant firefighters.
"We are so blessed to have so many people wanting to help our community," LeBlanc said.
Cossatot River High School, CHI Hospital - Hotsprings, Polk County, Sevier County, McCurtain County, Mena High School, Acorn High School, Umpire High School and Smithville High School all from Arkansas participated in the supply drive.
While the students were in St. Amant, they instructed the 100 percent LSU Tiger Fans how to properly perform the Arkansas Razorback cheer, LeBlanc joked.
"Special thanks to Josh Tadlock and all the Arkansas parents that drove down here with the students. We love you and we are blessed to call you our community friends," LeBlanc said.