My father-in-law lost his boat and his truck was damaged by the water. He has since bought another boat and will soon get his repaired truck back. He is crabbing again and says the crabbing is better than he has ever seen before. The down side to that is that the price he can get for crabs has gone down because the market is flooded.
On Sunday afternoon my youngest daughter and I drove to the camp where my son was staying before the hurricane. We thought we would see if we could get some of his clothes that he had left behind. He had come home for what was planned to be a two day visit before the storm and then Rita decided to drop by and so he never got to go back to the camp to bring all his clothing home.
The camp was nothing like it was before. The salt water from the storm surge left the pond full of stagnant water and mud. The camp itself had gotten water in it from the storm surge and when the surge flowed back to the marsh it left behind a stiff coating of dark marsh mud. We were able to go in and retrieve most of his clothing and I think the smell will come out with the wash (or perhaps two or three washes).
When we got to the small community where my son had been staying there were people milling about and working to clean things up. One of the most heart-wrenching scenes as we passed on the highway was a family sitting together watching a fire burn away the remants of what had been their home.
Driving in Cameron parish is still limited to daytime hours. The man at the checkpoint going in told me the speed limit was 45 miles per hour and warned me "about a cop named Butch who will give you a ticket for going 46 miles an hour". I set my cruise control and took no chances.
We took a few pictures where we could, mostly stopping in the road and snapping photos from the car since there was hardly any traffic on the road. I did not want to get off the main road for fear of "catching a flat" (as the Cajuns would say) from a loose nail and I did not want to linger anywhere and take a chance on looking like I might be looting. I also wanted to be respectful of the tremendous losses of these people so if there were people around I took no pictures.
Anyway, here they are, if you can stand more hurricane devastation images. I keep saying I am going to quit writing about this, it's all old news, but for many of these people, these hurricanes will forever be a dividing line in their lives -- life before the storm and a completely different life after the storm. It isn't over for them. It takes a while to rebuild a life.
Here are a couple of the before and after photos. I posted this one of the old house with a new roof not long ago. Now the roof is swaying, the windows are all out and the green shutters were blown off. Also note in the after photo the water in the background. I am not sure if it is water that is still standing from the storm surge or if their is a body of water back there that has surpassed its banks. Whatever it is, the water is not supposed to be there.
There were graves that were lifted up in at least one of the cemeteries. You can see the brown rubble the surge left behind. The salt water burned the vegetation. In a few other spots I could see the grass growing back already. I don't know how this statue withstoood the force of the water.
I have no idea what this is nor do I have any idea how it managed to get so neatly dropped over this tree.
There was a house here before the storm. Now all that is left are the beautiful old oak trees. The chimney remains and a bird sings from its perch, oblivious to the pain.
Steps leading nowhere.The Catholic Church and the Baptist Church.
These were the two things I looked for and did not find: This quaint little post office building and the cows that were in this pasture. We could not get our bearings straight to even see where the building had originally been located, could not even find the slab the it stood on.
You can see the cracked and dried up marsh mud in the foreground of the pasture picture. The salt water has killed all the vegetation. They may have been able to evacuate their cattle to higher ground but many of the cattle farmers lost all their cattle.
Word has it that the hunters are marveling over the number of ducks and gearing up for a good duck hunting season. I don't know how true it is, but someone said that the salt water has blinded the snakes and the turtles. Blind turtles may not cause too many problems, but the snakes are plentiful and unable to see. They will be a hazard to hunters who are out in the marsh preparing their duck blinds for hunting season.
Ya know, Dorothy, I just don't think we are in Kansas anymore. Obviously this house does not belong this close to the highway. I did not stop to examine whether the wicked witch's shoes were sticking out from underneath the house.
And here is the shadow of our car on the marsh grass as we are leaving Cameron parish. Such destruction. Such strong and determined people. So much work to do.