When the rain started falling in Baton Rouge on August 11, no one suspected that it would continue for three days and lead to catastrophic flooding. By now, we all know the scale of the flood: six lives lost; 20,000 people rescued; and over $8 billion dollars in damages. Our thoughts and prayers continue to go out all those affected by the wrath of Mother Nature
Silver linings sometimes occur during catastrophic events
While the area was in the earliest stages of recovery, a millwork shop owner began assessing the damage and loss of his work. Because of the heavy rain, he was unable to deliver any completed doors to their work site, so he was forced to keep them in the shop. This meant, unfortunately, that quite a few were submerged in up to three feet of water for several days.
Once the water receded, he began the emotional and physical hard work of culling his damaged product. He lay the completed Meranti doors out to dry but never thought they might be salvageable. Once they finished drying he discovered something remarkable: the Meranti doors and shutters hadn’t warped or twisted at all, as compared to doors made of other wood!
Meranti wood is known for its durability and ability to withstand wet conditions, but this level of stress had never been tested on entire doors before.
The Baton Rouge millwork shop owner was able to sand the watermark off his beautiful (and valuable) doors, stain or paint them, and deliver them to their final destination. In the midst of so much destruction of property and loss of income, this one surprising turn of events brings hope and joy to one small business owner in Baton Rouge.
As for the Meranti, does anyone recommend submerging it in water for several days? Certainly not! However, the anecdotal evidence does show that this beautiful, dense, exotic hardwood is even more durable and stable than previously thought.