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Lifelines Restored!!!

Posted by Richelle on 10/09/02 at 22:31 (097177)

Hello everyone! Especially those of you praying for us to survive Hurricane Lilli! I can live with about 24 hours without electricity, and days with no phone or cable, but six days with no cable modem???? Talk about roughing it! LOL

Thank God this hurricane lost strength before landfall! We have so much damage from fallen trees...if this storm had been the projected category 4 instead of a category 2 we would have lost our homes.

We chose to ride the storm out and not flee north. Our home has withstood many storms over the years and we felt pretty confident that we would be safe, so we stocked up on water, batteries and canned goods and boarded up the windows. We also did our best to remove anything that could become a flying projectile. Our main worry was our above ground pool collapsing and flooding our neighbors homes. We filled up the gas tanks though, just in case!

Lilli came in blowing and howling but thankfully with little rain. Trees came down, utility poles snapped and twisters sprung up where we have never had them! We are in the lucky minority with no damage. We lost one tree that Bill has been nurturing for years...it uprooted and is too big to try to save...though small enough that it didn't bring down the fence it landed on. We lost electricity early on then our phones went out in the afternoon. We took turns on watch and occupying the kids. Kept gumbo warming all day on a gas stove, so we ate pretty good! LOL - you know us cajuns can eat through any catastrophe!

We live in an older neighbor hood where almost every lot has very large old trees....pecan, pine, oaks, etc. Lots of branches, leaves and other debris everywhere by the time it was over. A sme4 came down on the street behind us...our neighbors were pushing against their front door to keep it from blowing in! Sounded just like a freight train. Luckily, it seemed to follow the roadway, judging from the tree damage on both sides and missing the homes directly. The south end of our streets along the river have trees on homes, crushed vehicles, fallen utility lines everywhere.

We started getting power in sporadic areas by Friday night and ours came on Saturday night. The heat and humidity was incredible! Especially during the clean-up that began on Friday! No ice to be found! Long lines everwhere...finally managed to get about 20 bags by the grace of God! We lost everything in both refrigerator freezers, salvaged most things from our deep freezer by piling ice. We had prepared ahead of time by putting perishibles into ice chests with ice bought before the storm (as an afterthought!).

Our phones were restored yesterday morning followed by my digital cable and cable modem. I really felt isolated from 'my' world! Cell phones were out as soon as the charges ran out...we ate by candle or lamp light and entertained the kids with stories and only a radio, camping out in the living room all together trying to catch elusive breezes from open windows and trying to avoid mosquitos!! Camping never looked so good! LOL

No injuries to our immediate family and no serious damage. My parents lost a wood fence and two large trees and some shingles off their roof. Bill's parents lost branches, shingles and most of their barn roof. One sister is still without electricity (estimated three weeks!) but owns a motor home they can live out of. Kids in Lafayette Parish all went back to school today...been out since last Wednesday! The schools lost all food and had to restock but no major structural damage.

As hard as we were hit, our neighboring communities are worse off...with flooding, tangled power lines, and general widespread damage.

We have been blessed with relief workers from all over the United States! What a relief on Friday to see so many utility trucks start rolling in! And to see neighbor helping neighbor like never before. No hassling when hunting for ice...very long lines with everyone just checking on each other. Such a widespread feeling of relief and concern for our fellow man. Even in such a disaster...God helps us to walk in love!

Thank you for all your prayers and concern...sorry this is so long, you have to forgive my withdrawal symptoms! I could talk all night!!

Happy to Be Here,
Richelle...a.k.a. Rich
Lafayette, Louisiana

Re: Lifelines Restored!!!

Suzanne D on 10/09/02 at 22:37 (097180)

I have been thinking of you, Richelle, and am so glad to just read your post. My goodness, you all did go through an ordeal! I am thankful that you had no injuries or major damage to your home or property.

It is amazing how people can come together to help one another in time of need, isn't it? On a much smaller scale, we had a flood here a few years ago, and neighbors were out helping one another as you described.

Once again, it was good to hear from you! Thanks for telling us your story.

Suzanne :-)

Re: Lifelines Restored!!!

Richelle on 10/09/02 at 22:41 (097181)

Hey Suzanne...good to see someone still up with me!! Was offline so long and out of work with all these kids!!! LOL

Thanks for the prayers!! I know you sent them our way!!

Rich

Re: Thank goodness!!!!!!

Carole C in NOLA on 10/09/02 at 23:19 (097186)

Thank goodness that you and your family are all right, Richelle! I was thinking of you with your little kids during the storm. I'm so glad your house didn't flood. Now that you have cable modem back, it must seem like things are finally returning to normal. :)

All I had was no cable for a half hour, a 10' diameter banana tree that fell down, and some fallen branches and so on messing up my yard. My electricity and phones never went out. It only rained about 5-6' from Lily here. Sure gave us a scare, though.

Carole C

Re: Thank goodness!!!!!!

Richelle on 10/09/02 at 23:28 (097188)

Our banana trees are flattened...we were lucky this storm was relatively dry.

Yes, everything is starting to seem like normal. Back at work, trying to get caught up.

This storm was really 'something for the record books'!

Looking forward to next weeks cooler temps? Can't wait...surely want hurricane season to end! LOL

Richelle

Re: Lifelines Restored!!!

Necee on 10/10/02 at 01:20 (097191)

Hi Rich,
Glad to know that you and your family are ok. I'm certain you are counting your blessings, and thankful that it wasn't worse.
We are getting the remnants of the hurricane here in Texas, it has rained steady for several days now, and thank goodness....we sure needed it. The temperature has also dropped considerably, which is always welcome! Fall has finally arrived!

Take care, and continue to give us a report on things.

Happy trails....

Necee

Re: Thank goodness!!!!!!

Carole C in NOLA on 10/10/02 at 07:08 (097203)

You and me both! This hurricane season has been pretty nerve-wracking for me too. I remind myself that it's all part of living in Louisiana, but I may never get completely used to it.

It will be interesting to me, to see if I really do retire right here when I reach retirement age, as I have planned. At that age I may chicken out and move north of I-10 to some place where the ground is actually above sea level, so that my life doesn't depend on an old and occasionally malfunctioning system of giant pumps and levees.

Not too far north, though.

Carole C

Re: Lifelines Restored!!!

Sharon W on 10/10/02 at 09:55 (097224)

Rich,

Thanks for filling us all in about what happened. When I heard that Lili was headed in the direction of Lafayette, I was worried about you! Glad to hear that you and your family and your home are all safe and unharmed.

Did a lot of your neighbors go north, or did almost everybody stay put?

Thanks for sharing your story with us. What a terrifying experience, though, with sme4es running down the streets and doing random damage, and of course all the water and problems with flooding and downed trees and everything! And I can scarcely IMAGINE what it must be like without a computer for so terribly long. I do believe I might die from withdrawl!!! :o))

How did the kids react to the experience? Did they seem to find it fun and exciting, to 'camp out' at home, or were they really scared?

It sure was smart of you to pack most of your perishable into ice chests before the storm hit; at least that way you could EAT a bunch of it before it went bad. I hope you didn't lose TOO much stuff from your freezers -- I know the price of food these days!!

Anyway, I'm relieved to find out you and yours are all OK. Please keep in touch!

Sharon

Re: Lifelines Restored!!!

Suzanne D on 10/09/02 at 22:37 (097180)

I have been thinking of you, Richelle, and am so glad to just read your post. My goodness, you all did go through an ordeal! I am thankful that you had no injuries or major damage to your home or property.

It is amazing how people can come together to help one another in time of need, isn't it? On a much smaller scale, we had a flood here a few years ago, and neighbors were out helping one another as you described.

Once again, it was good to hear from you! Thanks for telling us your story.

Suzanne :-)

Re: Lifelines Restored!!!

Richelle on 10/09/02 at 22:41 (097181)

Hey Suzanne...good to see someone still up with me!! Was offline so long and out of work with all these kids!!! LOL

Thanks for the prayers!! I know you sent them our way!!

Rich

Re: Thank goodness!!!!!!

Carole C in NOLA on 10/09/02 at 23:19 (097186)

Thank goodness that you and your family are all right, Richelle! I was thinking of you with your little kids during the storm. I'm so glad your house didn't flood. Now that you have cable modem back, it must seem like things are finally returning to normal. :)

All I had was no cable for a half hour, a 10' diameter banana tree that fell down, and some fallen branches and so on messing up my yard. My electricity and phones never went out. It only rained about 5-6' from Lily here. Sure gave us a scare, though.

Carole C

Re: Thank goodness!!!!!!

Richelle on 10/09/02 at 23:28 (097188)

Our banana trees are flattened...we were lucky this storm was relatively dry.

Yes, everything is starting to seem like normal. Back at work, trying to get caught up.

This storm was really 'something for the record books'!

Looking forward to next weeks cooler temps? Can't wait...surely want hurricane season to end! LOL

Richelle

Re: Lifelines Restored!!!

Necee on 10/10/02 at 01:20 (097191)

Hi Rich,
Glad to know that you and your family are ok. I'm certain you are counting your blessings, and thankful that it wasn't worse.
We are getting the remnants of the hurricane here in Texas, it has rained steady for several days now, and thank goodness....we sure needed it. The temperature has also dropped considerably, which is always welcome! Fall has finally arrived!

Take care, and continue to give us a report on things.

Happy trails....

Necee

Re: Thank goodness!!!!!!

Carole C in NOLA on 10/10/02 at 07:08 (097203)

You and me both! This hurricane season has been pretty nerve-wracking for me too. I remind myself that it's all part of living in Louisiana, but I may never get completely used to it.

It will be interesting to me, to see if I really do retire right here when I reach retirement age, as I have planned. At that age I may chicken out and move north of I-10 to some place where the ground is actually above sea level, so that my life doesn't depend on an old and occasionally malfunctioning system of giant pumps and levees.

Not too far north, though.

Carole C

Re: Lifelines Restored!!!

Sharon W on 10/10/02 at 09:55 (097224)

Rich,

Thanks for filling us all in about what happened. When I heard that Lili was headed in the direction of Lafayette, I was worried about you! Glad to hear that you and your family and your home are all safe and unharmed.

Did a lot of your neighbors go north, or did almost everybody stay put?

Thanks for sharing your story with us. What a terrifying experience, though, with sme4es running down the streets and doing random damage, and of course all the water and problems with flooding and downed trees and everything! And I can scarcely IMAGINE what it must be like without a computer for so terribly long. I do believe I might die from withdrawl!!! :o))

How did the kids react to the experience? Did they seem to find it fun and exciting, to 'camp out' at home, or were they really scared?

It sure was smart of you to pack most of your perishable into ice chests before the storm hit; at least that way you could EAT a bunch of it before it went bad. I hope you didn't lose TOO much stuff from your freezers -- I know the price of food these days!!

Anyway, I'm relieved to find out you and yours are all OK. Please keep in touch!

Sharon