Monday, September 12, 2005

Katrina is Gone and I'm Back

So great to be able to send a message or post to my blog! Just wanted to let everyone know that I'm okay and home. Well, kind of home. I'm actually living next door to my home in my son's home. We ended up heading to Arkansas after all, three days after the hurricane. My sister lives in a little place at the very top of the state. From the bottom of the MS/LA state line up to the top of Arkansas is a lot longer drive than I would have guessed. (Smile)

We spent over a week there and then came home Saturday. We were lucky and got power back to our homes a few hours after we got here. We have phones too.... though they often work only when they want to. We have running water, but it's not safe to drink. As you can see, my son has internet service back even, but it's dial up and there are five of us in the house and only one phone line....which like I said is up and down, so I'm still set to no mail on all my groups and won't have many chances to be on line. (I'm still a little shell shocked and have a lot of other stuff to take care of too.) I'm not even on my own computer, so I don't have my address book or anything from it.

We are fine though, and that’s what I want to let people know. We have food, bottled water, power, phone, meds, and can even flush a toilet. (Smile) Those are important things! Water first in line, food next, but the other things are important too. If your whole town doesn't have phones, there is no 911. Without power there is not only any lights or refrigeration, but hospitals can't helppeople, a heat index of a 110 can be deadly, and stores lock their doors and if they do open they take cash only.... which you can't get because the banks are closed too. I'm on two meds that I can't miss, and I have a dog on seizure meds, and drug stores for people and vets for animals don't open without lights either. (I was able tobuy a month's worth of all three while staying with my sister.) I managed to get a call through to our police department from my sister's last Thursday or Friday, they did finally have phones, but even they didn't have power then though the hospital and some other places were getting it. Since about 60 percent of our town has power now, and maybe almost as many have phones, a few stores and even some fast food places are opening during the day. The stores seem to have most items, the fast food places have a very limited menu, but it's a menu.

People still aren't allowed out before dawn or after dark, and going to Wal-Mart yesterday meant driving through roads pilled with hunks of cut up oak and pine trees on both sides, and walking by armed soldiers to enter the store, but just being able to go to my own Wal-Marts and buy some supplies felt great.

I lost my car -- gotta love the insurance companies -- since my car was eight years old, they are going to give me a whole 1,500 for it. Never mind that it only has 50,000 miles on it, was in great shape, and has been babied and cared for and never even missed an oil change. It was flooded, and to them it's a total write off. My son lost his car too, but it's newer so he'll even get a tiny bit more back than he owed for it, or that’s what they said.

His wife's car and my husband's truck came through okay. The truck only got some minor damage from a falling tree and was tall enough that water didn't get into the important stuff. My daughter-in-law's car was parked at a friend's house and was up high enough that it is fine too, so we were really lucky. That left us two vehicles to get out of here with. It took us a couple of days to cut enough trees away from them to get out....but it took the local National Guard and the city that long to clean enough roads and a highway for us to get out on anyway. My home....which I can see from my son's front door.... doesn't look too bad. It's got a little roof damage and there are huge oak trees down through the yard, over the shed and through the fence and such, but it looks like I should just be able to walk across the street and go home. My little old brick house stood the wind and the one tree that hit her -- a pecan which is much smaller than the giant oaks that fell around her. My home hadn't flooded in the 21 years I've lived in it, but during the worst part of the hurricane when we were waiting for the roof to comeoff, it was water that came. It poured in under the front door and, even to my shock, through the bedroom walls. Those walls we had put up with our own hands and unlike the older part of the home, they weren't brick. Seems wood does little to stop water.

We were lucky and the water only got knee deep. But it left so much damage, and now along with it, mold is covering all of those newer walls as well as lots of other stuff. The water went down before night fall after the hurricane, and then we mopped and cleaned and soaked up every bit of it that we could, the doors and windows were open for days before we left, and even when we left we kept some windows open, and the mold still won. My husband has gone in and gotten a few things out for me since we got lights and found the mold spreading over the walls, but he won't let me go back in.

So here I sit, waiting to see when our insurance man will come and what he will say and wishing I had gotten more insurance, including flood insurance.I'm not complaining though. We are all here, our pets are here, though one of them is really sick right now. We have a way to travel, we have a roof over our heads, we have food and water and lights and from this point on, as my mom would say, everything else is gravy on top!


Gina said...

I'm so glad to hear your home safe. I was worried about you.

Bernita said...

So glad you are safe.

Carol B. said...

Yay, Charlotte! SO good to hear from you. We were all so worried and were glad to hear you had made it out of that mess and to Arkansas for awhile.

Keep us posted, will you? And don't worry, your moderators have you covered on the list serves. You just concentrate on the important stuff--like surviving and staying healthy.

Charlotte Dillon said...

Thanks so much, ladies! I'm pretty glad to be home and safe too. (Smile) There were some moments when I wondered if that would happen.

JC said...

Get rid of that mold! So glad to hear that you are fine. My son works at the WalMart there and he said he got his electric back finally also. Please tear out anything that might mold. It really isn't healthy at all. I heard somewhere that charity hospital will give you meds that you need if you can't get them elsewhere. Take care.

Sydney said...

Glad to hear you and your family are safe!