The Louisiana National Guard and military police have been given a run for their money by the steadily rising floodwaters near Baton Rouge. Late last week over 25 inches of rain fell in Southern Louisiana and intense flooding came after.

Over 20,000 people have had to be rescued from their homes, and as of now, five people have lost their lives.

I usually stick to politics with my writing, but I felt very compelled to share this story this week.

According to FEMA, nearly 15,000 people are staying in temporary shelters, and they will be opening up recovery centers. FEMA has set plans into motion to bring in ample water and food for those who have been displaced.

This is a historic amount of flooding. The Amite River and connecting basins have completely spilled over their banks. Some peoples’ homes are completely under water, while some have yet to be affected. People have lost their lives, their homes, every trinket linked to memories of family and friends. Some people have nothing but the clothes on their backs.

President Obama anticipates that up to 30 counties could need to be declared a disaster zone. Fortunately, the two main rivers that have flooded went down slightly on Monday, however they remain well above the flood stage. The next few days will be a waiting game.

The best case scenario is the rivers will continue to recede, the worst case scenario is that more rain could come.

This is an important story to me for a couple of reasons. The first reason is this is a disaster that has left our fellow citizens with absolutely nothing. We should be our brother’s keeper and help in any way we can.

The second reason is that with all of the negativity in this country, from the election to the protests and destruction currently occurring in Milwaukee, this disaster humanizes us again.

Differences should be put aside to help out our fellow man. During times like this, politics don’t matter. Race doesn’t matter. Nothing matters but rebuilding the affected communities and comforting those who have experienced heartbreak.

If you are interested in helping those affected by this flood, there are several ways to do so. Time and money can be donated to the Salvation Army’s Gulf Coast initiative, which is providing water and hygiene kits to those affected.

Convoy of Hope is a faith-based nonprofit that helps communities worldwide combat hunger and natural disaster. They are accepting donations on their website, and are currently en route to assist the communities in Southern Louisiana. There have been several GoFundMe campaigns floating around Facebook as well, however most of these have been set up to benefit specific families as opposed to the communities as a whole.

Any penny helps in situations like these, so if you feel led to help then do so.

Amanda Long is a freelance writer for The Gazette-Virginian.