It took my brother and his wife a half an hour to maneuver their way through all the destruction and get to my parent’s house…two blocks away from their own. When we all walked outside it looked like the world had been turned upside down. Nothing was in it’s proper place it seemed. We realized that the house had no severe damage…roof slightly compromised but still on, windows intact, etc. Phew. Then we realized we had no water. This had never happened before. Sure, we had had to boil our water before using for a few days, but never had we not had running water! Dh and my father began gathering 5 gallon buckets to collect water off the roof. We still had phone and some relatives in Alabama offered us their generators. My brother left to get those.
We set up propane cookers, some chairs and a table on the porch…much too hot to try and eat in the house. That became our only time all together as a family, mealtime. Other than that we were all just going about the acts of survival; some of us in charge of keeping the generators running, others in helping neighbors and my brother who had much more damage, some in helping my mom who is on oxygen and can’t get around very well. Soon the chores of finding bottled water, ice, gas and food were added as we ran out of those items. Oh the long, long lines you had to wait in for those…and MRI’s? Can you really call them food? At least in the car you had air conditioning…for as long as you had gas at least. ;)
After a few days the Red Cross, bless their souls, began coming around and offering meals once a day. Glory be, it was like manna from heaven, real food! We were like kids again, listening out for the ice cream man, except this time it was on older lady in a van lol. The Red Cross, imo, is the most worthy of causes to give to…their help is real and basic. Now we discovered that all the communication towers in town were gone…no local t.v. or radio to be had. When we could tune in other stations we learned that downtown was flooded and the water plant had been severely compromised…hence no water. We did not, however, hear any news about the county dh and I lived in…not a lick! The stations would say they had no communications from our county and I was beginning to think maybe it had just been wiped out altogether. The authorities were not letting anyone even try to get into our county anyway…remember the causeway and bridges? They had to be inspected. My cats were still in our home! What about our neighbors? Not knowing is akin to torture.
After about 4 days of this agonizing wait we heard that it was finally cleared to go see our home. Oh we were beyond excited to think we’d be home in 30 minutes. Or so we thought…