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Macabre: Caskets scattered after floods hit town

In Summary

  • The burial sites are shallow due to high level of ground water.
  • One casket was washed right to the door of a church.

Four weeks ago, a hurricane swept through Louisiana in the United States.

In the town of Ironton, it washed out the burial vaults, scattering caskets that contain human remains.

CNN reports that the caskets are yet to be returned to their burial plots as residents continue feeling the effects of Hurricane Ida.

Burial plots are typically shallow because the ground water level is high, and coffins are often laid to rest in above-ground vaults and tombs.

Pastor Haywood Johnson of St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church pointed out a pair of caskets, belonging to a father and daughter, which had ended up beside each other in someone’s front yard.

An upside down casket following the flooding. It ended

Another casket could be seen upside down while a funeral vault was washed away, ending up right in front of the church. 

Johnson said he is still looking for the caskets of his own mother, uncle and sister. It is estimated that 30 to 50 caskets were displaced during the flooding, according to Ryan Seidemann, chairman of Louisiana’s Cemetery Response Taskforce. 

The search for the caskets has been further complicated by mud, high grass and snakes.

Part of the flooded town. Rescue has been hampered by grass, mud and snakes. PHOTO/COURTESY

The officials say a staging area is being created for bodies to be properly identified before they are returned to their final resting places. 

In a similar gory tragedy from the hurricane, a coroner yesterday identified the remains found inside a 228kg alligator as that of a 71-year-old man who went missing last month. Timothy Satterlee Sr. was walking in the floodwaters when he was attacked by the reptile.

Over 60 people died as a result of the hurricane while hundreds of homes were destroyed.

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