First Lady Donna Edwards talks about rebounding from the flood lessons that follow

Donna Edwards: Louisiana's First Lady

BATON ROUGE, LA (WVUE) - While Governor John Bel Edwards looked for more money from Washington for flood victims, parts of the Governor's Mansion in Baton Rouge still dry out.

Flood waters damaged the mansion's basement, forcing the first  family to a temporary home.

First Lady Donna Edwards monitors the repairs.

"This particular situation, we have a lake behind us that typically overflows to Capitol Lake which then goes to Mississippi. With that much rain going in at one time it filled up," she said.

She explained the extensive damage to the home's basement. Seven feet of water.

"Everything that makes the mansion work. Electricity, state police offices, all of that was destroyed," she said.

The Edwards family had a place to go, but she and her husband Governor John Bel Edwards hearts went out to those who weren't so lucky.

"To see people every day from all walks of life being in these shelters and seeing the volunteers who were teachers giving their time to kids in shelters," she said.

Edwards is a teacher first, after spending years as a music instructor in Amite, she dove right into finding help for flooded music programs and libraries.

"Talking to Tipitina's we were able to start music programs and talking to the Library of 
Congress will be able to replace a lot of those books," she said.

It works hand in hand with her Louisiana First program dedicated to the presence of music and art in Louisiana schools.

It works hand-in-hand with her Louisiana First program dedicated to the presence of music and art in Louisiana schools. The first lady says being exposed to art and music is fabulous but the experience of hands on is where they grow the most.

She sees the mansion as another opportunity for learning.

"I was able to partner with and bring in First Lady Alice Foster and her team. I'm all about bringing back wisdom that came before us and asking them for help and direction. She started the initial mansion foundation," she said.

Repairs have been made to the once cracked Doric columns and the old dormers still need repair.

"What I'm doing now is starting the second mansion foundation to include  preservation,"

The flood delayed big plans for this teacher but she's determined to  bring an appreciation of learning and  history here

"You teach your kids to keep their home and community to keep them up and take care of them show respect. I want the kids to say hey, this is taken care of," she said.

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