The Horror of Hurricanes…

I’m not sure what is worse – the physical damage caused by the storms or the emotional upheaval that is the combination of: the media frenzy, the local goverment’s overreaction (or underreaction), the preparation work (boarding of windows, removal of possible wind borne projectiles), the evacuation with its inevitable road gridlock, the worry and wonder about property and loved ones during the time away from home, the financial burden caused by evacuation or damage, the exhaustion of riding the storm out, the question of deciding whether to rebuild or relocate, the worry of whether this was just the 100 year storm or result of climate change, the realization that we may have to deal with this every 3 to 5 years from now on, orthe frustration of dealing with FEMA, insurance companies, and government assistance programs.

We were fortunate. Rita devasted southwest Louisiana and southeast Texas in 2005 and yet it has become “the forgotten storm”. Eclipsed by Katrina’s effect upon New Orleans, our little corner of the state has been all but forgotten. We were impacted by Rita, 14 trees down, 18 holes in the roof, carport, patios, screen porches destroyed. Miraculously, we were functional within 2 weeks! Most of our neighbors were not as fortunate. The storm surge from Rita produced a 3 foot flood of water from the Contraband Bayou along our street. Our home was not affected but others were. THE PHOTOS BELOW ARE FROM RITA IN 2005:

The Hawsey home across the street
One of the 14 trees down on our home

This year, 2008, produced several other hurricane disasters for the Louisiana coast. The first was Hurricane Edouard. Next was Gustav. Then came Ike, the biggest storm to hit the Gulf of Mexico since the 1900.

Our Back Patio Before Ike

Our Back Patio During Ike

Ike pushed a tremendous wall of water that surpassed the flooding of Rita. Our street took 4 foot of water this time and the lake overran the seawall and flooded the downtown area. Fortunately, the trees were all gone and damage from wind was minimal by comparison.

For all of you who have called or emailed, thank you for your concern. My family is doing well. We watch as 12 of our neighbors try to sell their homes or rebuild.

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