Hello to all my fellow artists and crafts people. As many of you might remember, I am from coastal Louisiana. Our community, Houma, LA, was right in the path of destruction for Hurricane Ida. Actually we ended up just west of the path. However we were still close enough to receive damage. The west side of a hurricane, where we ended up, gets more wind and lesser rain. The east side of a hurricane is the "messy" side, as in more rain.Hurricane Ida was classified as a Category (cat) 4, at 150 mph. Technology in today's times allow the weather experts to do analysis post storm and potentially upgrade (and less often downgrade) hurricanes. I feel like it will be reclassified as a Cat 5. Reclassification does nothing to remediate current damage, but helps in future storm prediction and preparation.
We live in Terrebonne Parish, county to you outside Louisiana. We live in Houma, LA, 15 miles from the gulf as the crow flies. Much of what is between us and the gulf is marsh, bayous and mostly undeveloped. There are a few communities between us but they are outside the levee protection and suffer much more greatly than those further up the bayou and inside the levee protection.
60% of the homes in Terrebonne Parish are declared uninhabitable by the EOC. That is not a typo, sixty percent. 60% are too damaged for human living conditions. Imagine that in YOUR community.
All Terrebonne Parish is without electricity. Some have no water service. No landlines. Cell svc. is spotty at best. No internet or cable. No way to communicate with the outside world. We are living in Little House on the Prairie times.
Power is not likely to be restored on a wide basis till month's end. Power poles were laid over or snapped off or lines are down. We lost water pressure Sunday evening. We had to rush around filling containers and the bathtub. We are on a boil order for any tap water used. We have secured bottled water for drinking.
We are on standby power, a Generac run by natural gas. Been under this power since Sunday about 12:55 PM. We have no idea when power at our particular address will be restored.
Dh turned my phone into a hotspot so we can begin going online to file for assistance .... something we have NEVER done before except to file with insurance. We have just filed with Fema, dsnap and will file for unemployment. We are not likely to qualify but we have to try. We have an adjustor coming Thursday to assess damage at our home.
Our business, located in a building we rent, has minimum damage. Will apply for grant type assistance but most likely won't qualify. The building is without power and so we are unable to open at this time.
We had the following damage to our home:
* some shingles blown off (roof now tarped)
* lost 3 crepe myrtle trees
* backyard (wood) fencing is all down, except the gate. The gate was built by friends who have a fencing business and they mean business with their methods. Metal posts for this fence go at least 4 feet into the ground!
* some minor leakage from room. All isolated on the sunroom roof, showing through to the ceiling.
* entry floor, minor damage
* fire place cap damaged, partially blown off
* dh's shop (metal building) lost gutter and has roof damage. So far my shop seems unscathed.
We had wind driven rain start to come under our front door. It buckled/damaged one square of wood parquet flooring. Possible other damage. We applied towels to help prevent more damage ... we found it very soon after it started.
Though we have a gas stove top and a generator for electricity, we have not mentally been up to cooking. For the first time since the storm we are cooking supper. Dh will smoke a pork loin outside and I'll cook some green beans. Simple, yes. But it's a start. We have invited some neighbors to come eat. They are each chipping in for the meal ... mac/cheese and jambalaya and BYOW (bring your own water!). Reminds me of the story of stone soup. Never heard of it? Google it.
Scammers will abound (which we avoid like the plague!) but there are also some true charitable organizations down here working. If you want to help, I strongly suggest making whatever donation you can to Samaritan's Purse. They have boots on the ground and are working with locals we trust. If you want it to go to the hurricane relief just make note of that, if you can, at the time of donation. Even $5.00 helps.
Many in our community refuse to work with the Red Cross ever again after past personal experience with them. Our church tired working with them after Hurricane Gustav in 2008. Our pastor said NEVER AGAIN. If that is where you want to make a donation, I won't tell you not to, but they do not have a good reputation in our area.
One thing you can do that won't cost a cent is to pray. Pray for safe, quick recovery.