What killed Stacy Ruffin?

Updated 1014 GMT (1814 HKT) August 11, 2017

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John D. Sutter is a columnist for CNN who focuses on climate change and social justice. Follow him on Snapchat, Twitter and Facebook.

Arcola, Louisiana (CNN)Rain pounded on the roof of the mobile home as the phone rang. The call was about Mark, Carolyn Ruffin's oldest son. He'd been hospitalized in a nearby town. The mother of four, who normally has an unflappable air about her, knew she had to rush to her boy -- no matter that a storm was brewing, the likes of which her corner of Louisiana never had seen.

This was August 12, 2016. In the next week, about 7 trillion gallons of water would fall on Louisiana, more than during Hurricane Katrina, according to meteorologist Ryan Maue. The nameless storm would shatter records, flood homes and kill 13 people.
That morning, though, Carolyn's thoughts weren't focused on the weather. They were with her son. So, at about 7 a.m., she hopped in th