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.


  1. I utilized Mapquest to get a clearer picture of where you live. My friends over in Pensacola are just north of Rte 10 over there and I saw this summer a bit of what Ivan did to them last year. I can't imagine, though, the stress of living where "surviving" one doesn't necessarily mean another cannot come right behind it. We have teams from our church going down around New Orleans to assist in various ways. My job keeps me here. God be with you, my friend. Peace.......

  2. oh, my sweet friend annie - i had no idea!

    you get yourself together before you work on the little project i want you to do for me. it should be the last thing on your mind...

    is there anything i can do for you? do you need anything i can help you with?

    of course, prayers going up for you and yours.....

  3. thank you for this wonderful sharing of what it IS really like.

    We in europe have NO idea :(


  4. Oh Annie, my heart goes out to you, and to all of those affected by Katrina and Rita. I used to live in Lake Charles and it just breaks my heart to hear about the destruction in that area.

    I was in fact in Sulphur to help feed Katrina evacuees a couple of weeks before Rita hit (I now live in Ohio). Thanks for the pictures. You are right in saying that they do not do it justice but they do give an idea.

    My prayers are with you and your family as you try to put your lives back together. I think we will be back to the Sulphur area at some point but don't know when. I do know I will be back in Grand Isle (near New Orleans) in late October. *hugs*

  5. You're right - this is incomprehensible. You have a wonderful attitude, however.

    Our prayers are with you.

  6. I'm living in a post Katrina/Rita world, too. I have a box of MRE's in the pantry and keep thinking I'll photograph MRE's for the blog because I never ever saw one until Katrina. Have you burned yourself doing the 'self-heating' thing? I ate some Poppy Seed Pound Cake and was amazed that cake squshed in a green envelope tasted good. Praying for you.

  7. Oh yes -- I think photos of MRE's would be very enlightening! They sound interesting -- and aren't we so fortunate to live in a country where we can get such things in times like this. Annie, keep us up on all that is going on!

  8. All I can say is WoW. First time visitor. Hello. Lord Bless.

  9. Dear Annie,

    The devastation in these pictures is incredible. Thankful to have you still alive and your family intact, if shaken.

    Your update is so helpful now that the hurricanes have moved off the front pages to make way for the earthquakes. We will know how to pray more specifically. And we will do that daily,and at Lakeside Community Church this coming week.

    Your attitude reminds me about what is best in the American soul. I remember seeing this when the Mississippi flooded its banks several years ago, taking out homes and farms which had existed for nearly a century. There was this gratitude to be alive, this acceptance of the force of nature to wreck havoc, this calm determination to rebuild.

    The spirit of the pioneers is not dead. People encourage one another in times of adversity. We experienced something of the same when ice ravaged Eastern Ontario and left people without hydro for weeks on end in the dead of winter. Determination. Faith. Camaraderie.

    Bless you all.


Don't just sit there staring, say something!