Author Topic: Katrina damage - Looking for the positive...  (Read 2470 times)

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Offline Robin Martin

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Katrina damage - Looking for the positive...
« on: September 01, 2005, 01:01:00 AM »
I just wanted to send a quick note to all of those (us) affected by this tragic display of Mother Nature; I pray all your friends, family and loved ones are safe and sound...

My heart aches for everyone involved ::dove::
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
bid you peace!

Offline Antigen

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Katrina damage - Looking for the positive...
« Reply #1 on: September 01, 2005, 12:39:00 PM »
Anybody heard from Chris?

Keep close to Nature's heart... and break clear away, once in awhile, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean.
-- John Muir

« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
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Offline Anonymous

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Katrina damage - Looking for the positive...
« Reply #2 on: September 01, 2005, 06:26:00 PM »
"I am OK...I am in Baton Rouge, LA with my son John, we are "homeless" at this point but safe and alive; the rest of the family is OK too. I appreciate all the thoughts and prayers.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Offline Robin Martin

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« Reply #3 on: September 01, 2005, 06:35:00 PM »
Just received the following e/m from Chris:

"I am OK...I am in Baton Rouge, LA with my son John, we are "homeless" at this point but safe and alive; the rest of the family is OK too. I appreciate all the thoughts and prayers."

Thank goodness - I was getting a little concerned! ::cheers::
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bid you peace!

Offline Ft. Lauderdale

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« Reply #4 on: September 02, 2005, 08:42:00 AM »
I received an email from Chris also.  I'm glad they are alive.
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Offline Anonymous

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Katrina damage - Looking for the positive...
« Reply #5 on: September 04, 2005, 10:28:00 PM »
Dear All -
please pass this on to anyone/ everyone you can, this is Chris (& John) we are in Baton Rouge since Thursday after "holing up" in my friends hunting camp approx 30 miles outside of Natchez Miss. My friend Bob had invited John & I up to his camp for the weekend and on Friday afternoon he called me to let me know that he was driving back & he & his family (extended) were evacuating. He graciously offered the camp to John & I for refuge from the storm.  It has been some week let me tell you! While after arriving up at the camp, the next morning we lost power and as the storm passed thru Monday a tree came crashing down on the corner of the trailer, it sounded like an explosion, I was on the couch (directly under where the tree came down) and John was trying to sleep through the wind & the storm in the bed, he later told me he thought I was cleaning the guns and had shot one off by accident! The majority of the blow was taken by the top of the tree that impacted the hill in back of the trailer because nothing puntured the roof and the next day when we got up to chainsaw back some of the branches (thanks Koggie!) we could see just how lucky we had been, a taste of what a number of others experienced I am sure (& much worse). We just figured Katrina would be another glancing blow, no big deal, it will turn at the last minute, somehow, someway.... etc... well we all know the rest. Well as man proposes, God disposes... I figured (my x-wife) Pam's house 4 blocks from the beach in Pass Christian (below the RR tracks, the "high" water mark) would be toast & my house on Walthall St the brick structure that survived Camille would most likely be flooded but intact.
 
Well God does have a sense of humor,after looking at the Satelitte arial pictures today Pam's house appears to be there, mine is pretty much a debri-field, the house across the street on either side are gone, as well as the neighbors down on the corner. Oh well, I think He (or She) is trying to tell me something. But, John & I got out, he is here with me & Pam, her parents and the girls are safe, that is the only thing that really matters, the rest of it is just "stuff" you know what I mean?. The main bridge from Pass Christian to the town across the bay, Bay St Louis is gone, poof, all the sections knocked off the pilings into the water... that is the main route for most people working in the New Orleans area to take for commuting. To have to commute around this adds at least 1/2 an hour... But what am I talking about! There is no job to go to in New Orleans to commute to!. I am sure everyone has seen the video, the numerous news reports, the various "talking head" politicians, etc...
 
It will take anywhere from 6-9 months to get New Orleans at least "secure" again, power, water, phone, the basics. But this does not even take into account the fact that so many people, businesses have fled, relocated, moved operations & set up in other towns. Many, many of these businesses will never move back, this is a fact, the ones that had the financial wherewithal to survive and set up a branch or new operations in another town will not have the ability to pay for another move, or will not want to put themselves in harm's way again, or quite frankly will adjust to and prefer where they have relocated. The professionals have fled, the teachers, attorneys, cpa's, etc... the ones that have the ability will relocate and find new jobs, new towns, new lives and many will quite simply begin again... The natives will move back, the families that trace their roots back 200+ years, New Orleans is the only place they will ever live and I am sure many people reading this will know why...
 
Virginia, my 17 year old,  certainly has the most harrowing tale, she stayed on at her friend Colleen's home in Diamondhead MS, which is above the I-10 and 55 - 60 ft above sea level. Well the water rose, rose & rose and kept rising up to the counters, the 2nd floor, into the attic where she, her friend and her parents had climbed up into. Virginia kicked out the attic vent window at the end of the house and guided her friend (with a heart condition) & her parents out and she swam out the window under the rood line to pop up above the water and swim down the street approx 8 blocks to a church that was at least on higher ground, they took refuge there with some other families in a similar fate. She was giving Pam phone reports up till the time she went into the water and the phone went dead. We did not hear from her for two days... I never knew two days could feel so long, Pam's brother Steve had a friend in the National Guard who had been deployed to the MS gulf coast area who was looking for her. Pam got a call from her Wednesday that the Red Cross had gotten to the area and that she was OK. What an enormous relief and thanks to God, Pam said she could not help feeling that Virginia had been there with her friend for a reason... I have to agree.
 
Elisabeth stayed on in the Long Beach area but North of where the flooding area was and she called Pam after the storm Monday and said she had gotten back down Menge ave (one of the roads into the Pass Christian area) got as far as the Woodland way area and saw two bodies floating in the water there.... they appeared to be in uniforms and Pam remembers that she had heard some game & wildlife agents had stayed on in the reserve that cares for sick animals in that area where the reserve is located. The water was too high at that point and she turned back. She is 19 years old, I have never seen a dead body... she has seen two...My heart goes out to her.
 
Pam's parents house appears to be OK, although there may have been floodwater that made it into the house. I am thankful to be alive and that my family is also, there must be some reason for all this to happen not just to me, but to all the many hundreds of thousands across the coast area & in New Orleans and of course the hundreds I know directly, so many have lost everything. But they are all thankful to be alive. On this note I will close, please know that I feel blessed to have heard from so many of you and your out-pouring of love and support, this has meant so much to me you may never realize...
 
Much love and thanks to all, From the Gulf Coast (via Baton Rouge!)
 
Chris Lewis (& John)
Seed 1973 - 1975
AA 1991 -

PS - At one point on Monday I looked real hard at the booze on top of the refrigerator at my friend Bob's camp. I am happy to report I will pick up my 14 year chip on Sept 6th. Love Ya...
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Offline GregFL

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Katrina damage - Looking for the positive...
« Reply #6 on: September 04, 2005, 10:55:00 PM »
So glad you guys are okay! Give that son of yours a hug for me, and keep us informed here.


Whew!
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Offline MidAtlantic

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Katrina damage - Looking for the positive...
« Reply #7 on: September 19, 2005, 11:19:00 AM »
I got home yesterday from two weeks of working with the Red Cross in Mississippi on Hurricane Katrina Relief.  I didn't make it to the coast, but was instead working in a shelter in Tupelo.   After hearing all the accounts of what life is like down there right now, I'm pretty glad I didn't get to see first hand all the devastation, and from all accounts, it is far worse than anything they have been showing on the news.   The Mississippi Gulf Coast is devastated.    
 
What a wonderful, humbling, amazing and inspiring trip.  I met a lot of wonderful people from Mississippi and Louisiana and worked with a great group of people from North Carolina, Maryland, Kansas and Missouri.  While I'm not ready to go back, I will volunteer again in the future.  The 15 hour work days even in Tupelo were exhausting, I haven't had a moment of privacy except for showers since September 6th.  My quiet little house is a welcome sight.  
 
I worked with the illiterate, the affluent, the homeless and the angry.   What an amazing array of people.  Tupelo is a great little town of 40,000 who opened their hearts and their doors to everyone and made everyone regardless of where they came from, what they did, who they were or weren't, feel very welcome, safe and cared for.  
 
How did it come about that I went, I don't know, I can't explain it, it was just something that I had to do, I felt it in my heart, and knew I couldn't have lived with myself if I didn't do something to help.  Sending money wasn't the answer for me this time.  So I went.  
 
My mom was hospitalized while I was gone.  That was tough, not knowing whether to stay or go, but in the end talked to her and her doctor and he told me to stay, so I stayed.    
 
It's odd, how life goes on.  For two weeks everyone I talked to was somehow touched by either the hurricane or the relief effort and to come home and life has gone on and no one here is affected either way, I feel like I can't talk about my experiences and the people I met and things I did.   I talked with and hugged men and women who were crying over what they had lost and couldn't do for their families now, saw the dazed look of overwhelming fear and terror in so many peoples eyes, and yet again as time wore on I saw their eyes begin to light up again, knowing that they would be okay and their lives would be okay, even though so many have to start over again in their young years, middle years and twilight years.   I worked with the drug addicts and con men who were just out to make a buck and play on people's emotions.   I was yelled at, had fingers pointed in my face and cursed at by people who were frightened and overwhelmed or just out for something for free, and then hugged by people who were grateful that they had 5 minutes to talk with someone who cared.   Everywhere I went for two weeks I had on some identifier that indicated that I was with the Red Cross. I was approached by total strangers who shook my hand, hugged me or told me what I wonderful person I was for giving my time and help, it was a very humbling experience.

And when I wasn't at the shelter I felt like I needed to be there, even if I was just wandering around talking with people during the meal times.   We processed over 2000 people while I was there and I think I met them all, with so many touching my heart.  We helped to set up the shelter once it was open and I was there when it was closed, helping to dismantle everything that had been put into place.  It was sad and relieving at the same time to see the shelter  turned back into the local auditorium, going from a bustling place with people everywhere to the quiet empty building with all its stadium seats waiting for the next concert or event.  

Do I feel amazing and brave as so many people have called me, no.  Was it an adventure, absolutely.  Would I do it again, in a heartbeat.  Am I glad to be back home, yes and no.  

I talked with Chris L. while I was there.  I had hoped to see him, but it didn't work out.  He sounded great and his spirits were good and he's picked up that 14 year sobriety chip.  Way to go Chris.  Like everyone else, he's figuring out how to get on with life after such a life changing event.  

I'm sad to see this recent time in my life end, but am looking forward to getting back to the little life I've carved out for myself.    Hopefully in the next day or two, after a couple of days off and some much needed quiet time, I'll figure out again, what day it is and get my land legs back under me, to face this other world as it has continued.  Now it's back to reality, whatever that is.
 
Nikki
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Offline GregFL

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Katrina damage - Looking for the positive...
« Reply #8 on: September 19, 2005, 03:50:00 PM »
:tup:  :tup:  :tup:  :tup:



Nickki, you rock!


this experience will not only enrich the lives of the people you helped, but yours as well.

Thank you for doing what you did!
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Offline ChrisL

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Katrina damage - Looking for the positive...
« Reply #9 on: September 19, 2005, 07:33:00 PM »
Hi Guys!
I too regret not being able to get together while Nikki was in the area. But I was happy to get a chance to talk with her and share our experiences. I tried to get in to see what was left of my place in Pass Christian weekend before last and got turned away two days in a row. Marshall Law & they were recovering bodies back in my neighborhood. I did manage to get in this last saturday, I almost wish I hadn't. I thought I was prepared for the devastation, but it is like one of those things that you can be intellectually ready for but not emotionally ready to experience. The excavator & dump trucks were working my street when I pulled up, looking in all directions, not a house was standing... just piles of rubble, trees & refuse. My previously beautiful, shaded tree-lined streets with simple summer & vacation homes was now barren with 60 or 70% of those large beautiful trees gone. Where my house used to be were two large pieces of the roof, sitting on the ground about 20 feet from their original location. The brick walls looked like they had been blown out. Standing in the open area that was the dining room, living room and one of the bedrooms were some things were just laying there on the ground where they had been in the room, two bikes, my tool chests, some of my son's drum set... other things from the kitchen were flung askew in the yard, along with large pieces of two of my neighbor's homes. You could certainly say we were all in this together. I now have a pretty good idea of what a war zone looks like, many thanks to all who have kept all of us so affected by Katrina in your thoughts, prayers and assistance! Love you guys,

Chris
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
hris Lewis
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Offline marshall

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Katrina damage - Looking for the positive...
« Reply #10 on: January 11, 2006, 11:35:00 AM »
My son just called from New Orleans last night. (He's operating heavy equip. doing clean-up with a company working for fema) He said there are still lots of families living on the interstate...homeless. While suburban homes and yards are being cleaned up, houses in the poorer sections were simply bulldozed. It's not in the news much anymore so I had no idea things were still so bad there. He also said they are still finding bodies nearly every day.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
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