Turning Archive 2005
I just got back home and will post pics tomorrow of what I saw in Alabama and Mississippi. For those wanting to send donations, I will give you some ideas tomorrow and some addresses. I do not need anyone to send me money as I had enough for my trip but I do have addresses of some places to send things or money. I spoke with Lowe's building materials and they say they will match all contributions made through their stores up to 2 million dollars. Red Cross is there and they are getting food and water to drop off points but a lot of people have no operable vehicles so they cannot get to the places where food and water is available. Church groups are doing a good job of getting the food and water to the people who have no transportation but there are many gaps in the system. Red Cross is not supplying workers to cover roofs, clear limbs and trees, remove carpet, etc.; all these things are being done by volunteers. I think it is mostly too late now to remove furniture and carpet as the mold is now growing and the stench is terrible and Fema is now condemming many houses because it is unsafe to work in them. As I came home I saw a steady stream of heavy emergency equipment going down, as well as portable housing, etc. Many of the houses lost all their appliances so these will be in need as soon as the people are allowed back in their houses. Right now there is a great need for new underwear (men, women, and children).
The extent of this disaster in just unbelievable and indescribable and it will be years before the area will recover. The Chevron refinery was in operation and the entrance was being guarded by US Army or National Guard personnel. The big oil storage tanks would have floated away if they had not been full of oil but I did not see any of them with any damage whatsoever.
I was told that many people who had tried to buy flood insurance did not have it because they were told they were not in a flood plane and did not need it. One of the houses that we worked on was owned by a 79 year old lady that had lived there for 49 years and had never had a water problem; this time water was 5 ft deep in her house.
Fema is stepping in with a lot of tree removal equipment now so I think it might be best for volunteers to wait a while before going down unless you know of a specific need and are asked to come down.
I'll post more tomorrow after I get a little rest.