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One Matrix Family is Especially Grateful this Holiday Season

Family of five rebuilds home and gives thanks to Matrix co-workers for invaluable rally of support

Baton Rouge, LA - There is plenty for the Christ family to be grateful about this Thanksgiving. As they sit for the traditional holiday feast, they are thankful that everyone is healthy and safe, that they are warm and dry and that a roof is over their heads. Because it was not that long ago that the family of five faced the type of trauma that few families can even imagine.

It was about 2 a.m. on Saturday, August 13, 2016 that the flash flood alert broke the calm of the night. Beeping cellphones startled awake Phoebe and John Christ in their home on Gray’s Creek in Denham Springs, Louisiana. It was raining hard. Because Gray’s Creek had risen in the past, flooding the front and back yard, but never reaching their home, the couple figured they would just get up and check out the water. But what they saw was no typical flooding.

Time to Pack Up & Leave
After wading through the water to move his tractor to higher ground, John felt the strong current and realized it could wash out his home’s foundation. Now was the time to pack a few things and get out with his family, with the hopes that he was just over-reacting.

Phoebe, a Matrix New World Engineering (Matrix) employee, recalls packing just a few items of clothing per person. The family then waded through the flowing water, with John and Phoebe carrying one child at a time to their vehicles.

The water was not quite waist deep. But it was high enough that a tall pair of rain boots was pointless. By 3 a.m., Phoebe, John and their three young children were safely two miles north, settling in with John’s parents. John’s sister’s family had also fled from home. Together, the extended family remained through the night. They lost power; the plumbing soon began to fail. But they were together and dry.

Stranded by Record Flooding
As the sun rose Sunday morning, the family realized they were stranded on one of the only high and dry areas left in Denham Springs. Roads were flooded north and south; Interstate 12 was flooded east and west. With five small children, a shortage of fresh water, spoiled food in a hot refrigerator, and failed plumbing, the entire family decided to venture out to the high Juban Road overpass.

Rescuers spotted them. They were then transported by airboat to an area north that had electricity and running water. They were sheltered until the flood waters finally receded. They were then relocated to a more “permanent” temporary home.

Four days after their home was engulfed in water, the Christs returned. It was far worse than they could imagine. Their home was in shambles. That day, they began the process of cleaning and rebuilding. That process continues. It is a daunting task with the end hard to see, but Phoebe’s work family at Matrix rallied in support.

Help Rushes In
Co-workers from the Baton Rouge location began arriving at the door, offering food, generators, utility vehicles, and manual labor while others from satellite locations sent clothes and toys for the children, gift cards, and money. It has all made for a blessed Thanksgiving for the Christ family.

“The Matrix New World company and its employees went above and beyond to support one of their own,” Phoebe said. “The donations and support poured in and it has all truly been an invaluable part of our recovery.”

Formed in 1990, Matrix is a prominent woman-owned full-service engineering and environmental services firm. Matrix is working on a wide range of infrastructure, building and environmental projects for public and private-sector clients throughout the United States. The Florham Park, NJ-based company has offices in Eatontown, NJ, as well as New York City, Louisiana, Texas, and Arizona.

For more information on this firm, contact Jayne Warne at 800.747.MATRIX, jwarne@matrixneworld.com




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