Saturday, October 08, 2005
Ramifications of Rita
A few photos from my parents' house. Miraculously, neither the car nor the roof was damaged.
Our electricity is back on. Phone service (and my internet services!) will not be restored until November 2nd.
Most of the city has their electricity back. Vinton was hit very hard. Cameron parish is gone, except for the courthouse, which withstood Audrey in '57. Holly Beach was totally destroyed except for the water tower. Yesterday was the official day to come back home (and stay) if you have power, water and sewerage, and supplies. Gas and groceries are sometimes difficult to come by. (Thank God for the MREs!) The stores that are open are only open from 9-5. The banks that are open are open only from 9 to 2. I slid in under the wire yesterday at 2:20 to cash a paycheck. The 7:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. curfew was lifted yesterday, but you still can't be out walking or riding a bicycle at those times. They have discontinued the daily 2:00 news briefings from the Office of Emergency Management, and most of the radio stations have started playing music again. Most of the red lights are now working. However, you can't be real sure that the lights are not green on both sides, so you still need to proceed with caution. They are working hard to get the tree limbs up and the power lines restored, which means large trucks are almost everywhere you go.
One of the McDonald's recently reopened (drive-thru only). It is weird to see the lines snaking out into the streets, waiting to get McDonald's food. So far, I have refused to go. I think they will be in such a hurry to serve that the food will not be cooked very well. There are not many restaurants opened up yet, partly because of the curfew, and partly because they each have to reinspected by the health dept before they can reopen.
The local chief of police still gives a daily report where he gives the names of those who are caught looting. They have done an excellent job of controlling that, usually, he has only one name to name, and sometimes none. He did call out one guy who was wanted on parole violation and had been hiding out in Arkansas but "decided to come home when the parish was covered by more law officials than people living here, and was apprehended, which makes him the dumbest criminal on our books".
One of the local business schools and the community college I attended will not begin school again until further notice (which makes me think they will not be able to complete this semester). The local university will start again ASAP, but there are rumors that they will have to scrap the semester. We are supposed to hear on next Friday when the public schools will reopen. That will be their third week out of school. They are thinking they will make the kids go longer each day rather than taking away from the Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday, but they may reduce some of the holidays after the first of the year.
My daughter has to move from her apt. She lives in a quadplex and two of the units are damaged, and mold is growing. She will be shuffling back and forth between my parents' house and ours. The worst part of that is dealing with my two grandchildren--her two big old slobberin' stinkin' dogs. The landlord hopes to get to rebuild the whole thing. His mother's house in Cameron was found intact on a ridge in the marsh, about 4 miles away from where it was supposed to be, but they can't get it back.
One of the river boats is in the parking lot down at Harrah's. I have not been by to see it. I keep thinking I want to get out and take pictures, but pictures just do not do the whole scene justice. You have to be here to believe it.
We will probably need a new roof, and now that the electricity is back on, we can see that some of our walls on the inside look they are separating from the ceiling. Water must have gotten blown in under the eaves are something. No telling when the insurance adjuster will arrive on the scene.
One of my MREs had a post card printed on the cardboard container which contained pineapples! No one has been brave enough to try the (imitation) pork rib dinner except my eldest daughter and she liked it so well that she has eaten it two days in a row. She now wants me to call the radio station and ask if anyone has extra pork rib dinners they want to get rid of! It comes with clam chowder, which she also likes. I would not eat clam chowder in a five star restaurant, much less in an MRE. There really is no accounting for taste. MREs are interesting. More on that later. Maybe. If I remember.