Our Stories

Through our initiative, Flood Forum USA, we’re working with flood survivor advocates from across the U.S. Hear and read about their stories:


Florida: Melbourne

Camille Hadley runs a youth urban agriculture program in a neighborhood that floods, and is also facing rapid gentrification. She shares her dream for her community.


virginia: virginia beach


texas: POST-HARVEY, port arthur


texas: POST-HARVEY, richwood

Kevin McKinney of the flood group, "Flood Victims Of Richwood" in Texas, has convened 400 residents to take out a lawsuit connected to their flooding.


texas: POST-HARVEY, dickinson

Jennifer Bean Hernandez from Dickinson, Texas, describes the impact of Hurricane Harvey on her home and neighborhood. She is setting up a flood forum for residents.


louisiana: A community voice, New Orleans, LA

Flood survivor activists, Beth Butler and Gwendolyn Adams, discuss life in the Lower Ninth Ward, post-Katrina. 


Illinois: 'rainready chatham', chicago


Missouri: 'Citizens' committee for flood relief', in the city of de soto

Susan Liley set up the Citizens' Committee for Flood Relief after watching her neighbors suffer repeated flooding. Together with Paula Arbuthnot, a local engineer, they've managed to get the attention and support of various government agencies and legislators.


illinois: 'FloodLothian Midlothian', in the Chicago suburbs


missouri: 'citizens for flood prevention', sunset hills and fenton, MO

Emilie Hayes and her family lost their home to flooding in December 2015. They are still in rented accommodation. Emilie now advocates on behalf of flood survivors in the south west suburbs of St Louis, MO (Sunset Hills and Fenton.) This video is being shared to help raise awareness of the impacts of flooding on residents and need for action.


TeXas: 'Residents Against Flooding' in houston

Flood survivors, Dean and Charmaine Bixler share their story of flooding in 2015 and 2016 and talk about the flood forum, 'Residents Against Flooding'. 

This video was made just weeks before Hurricane Harvey hit Houston in August 2017 and had such a devastating affect on city residents and businesses.

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Louisiana: acadiana flood message board

Shannon Cooper lost her home in the flooding in Louisiana on August 2016. During this time, she coordinated donations to other families made homeless, working alongside members of the flood forum, 'Acadiana Flood Message Board.' More recently, the group has supported people made homeless as a result of Hurricane Harvey in August 2017.


The following three stories were written by Olivia Bobrowsky on behalf of Flood Forum USA and were published in the Huffington Post. 

Illinois: 'Residents Push For Flood Relief'

 PHOTO BY KENDRA SCUDDER THOMPSON. Elmhurst, IL “Stop Elmhurst Flooding Now”

PHOTO BY KENDRA SCUDDER THOMPSON. Elmhurst, IL “Stop Elmhurst Flooding Now”

1,000+ Illinoisans formed a grassroots group to support flood victims and lobby their local government.

It was July 2010, and 100,000 gallons of water had poured into Kathleen Sullivan’s basement. 

Sullivan, a lifelong resident of Elmhurst, Ill., had seen flooding before. The first time was 1987, when a 100-year storm dumped over 9 inches of rain on Elmhurst and overflowed a nearby creek. The city and county governments responded with a flurry of flood control efforts – they built a quarry and a new reservoir system – and a period of drought followed. But then 2008 and 2009 brought a handful of storms, and with them, five minor floods to Sullivan’s street. Then came 2010. 


West Virginia: 'Flood Victim Reflects On Storm Aftermath, Effort to Help Neighbors'

On June 24, 2016, a huge storm swamped the town of White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia. The flood claimed more than 20 lives, left thousands without homes, and shuttered the main employer in town – the historic Greenbrier Resort – for several weeks. 

Tyler Hagemo, a caddy and skating instructor at the resort, was at the Greenbrier’s golf course the day of the flood. 

 PHOTO COURTESY OF TYLER HAGEMO  Debris after a flood in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia.

PHOTO COURTESY OF TYLER HAGEMO

Debris after a flood in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia.


texas: 'Sick Of Chronic Flooding, Houston Residents Search For Solutions'

 PHOTO BY DEAN BIXLER. The flooded home of Houston residents Dean and Charmain Bixler.

PHOTO BY DEAN BIXLER. The flooded home of Houston residents Dean and Charmain Bixler.

On Memorial Day 2015, a storm unleashed 12 inches of rain on Southwest Houston in 10 hours.

“Some of our dearest friends’ houses took in 2 or 3 feet of water overnight,” remembers Lydia Musher, a Houston homeowner and lecturer at Rice University. “Kayakers rescued children and pets. Families had to evacuate out of their kitchen windows. An elderly couple in the neighborhood died in the rescue process. It was a very traumatic time for the community.”

Then in April 2016, an even more damaging flood struck Houston. At least five people died, and more than a thousand high-water rescues took place across the city.