Floods Slam LA Pro Audio Community

Extensive flooding closed the headquarters of PreSonus Audio and caused damage to Dockside Studios, home to multiple Grammy-winning projects and artists, after what was described as a “1,000-year flood” triggered by torrential rainfall.
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Baton Rouge, LA (August 17, 2016)—Extensive flooding closed the headquarters of PreSonus Audio and caused damage to Dockside Studios, home to multiple Grammy-winning projects and artists, after what was described as a “1,000-year flood” triggered by torrential rainfall.

At press time, eight deaths have been attributed to the storms and subsequent flooding. On Sunday, August 14, Gov. John Bel Edwards announced that the federal government had declared a major disaster for the state of Louisiana. The Louisiana National Guard was deployed and an estimated 20,000 people were rescued from flooded homes and vehicles.

PreSonus headquarters, located on the southern outskirts of Baton Rouge, was closed multiple days. “It could have been worse,” said Ryan Roullard, marketing communications manager, in a statement. “While inaccessible by car, the interior of PreSonus HQ has not taken in flood water and we expect damage to be minimal. The lake in our parking lot is receding, and currently most departments are working remotely and expect to be back at the office any day now.

“That said, many of our folks have been directly affected by the flood—some worse than others—and we are giving them whatever time they need to take care of their homes and families. Kindly bear with us during this admittedly rough time; we’ll be back to full speed soon enough. Readers interested in donating to help Louisiana flood relief efforts should go to fightthefloodla.com.”

Cezanne “Wish” Nails and her husband Steve, co-owners of Dockside Studios, with a crew of volunteers, are cleaning up damage caused by the flooding. Nails and her son reportedly saved some audio equipment as the rising waters approached, stacking modules from the vintage 52-input Neve 8058 console as high as they could.

Dockside, which is located on the banks of the Vermillion River in Maurice, LA, south of Lafayette, has produced 11 Grammy-winning albums, including projects by B.B. King, who recorded three Grammy-winning albums at the studio, BeauSoleil, Buckwheat Zydeco, Irma Thomas, Dr. John, James Cotton and Jon Cleary, winner of this year’s Grammy for Best Regional Roots album.

Regional musicians and friends, among them six-time Grammy-winning producer Tony Daigle, rallied after the flood to help dry out the facility, removing wet carpeting and more. Drummer Dave “Papa Puff ” Nezat told regional paper The Advertiser, “Everything is out and wiped down.... We have Shop Vacs blowing through, trying to dry things. We just did an initial mop down with bleach on all the surfaces and floors.”