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Old 09-22-2005, 11:16 AM   #1
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tkgoodspirit HB Usertkgoodspirit HB User
I try to understand:

Hi all,
Some of you already know that I live on the Gulf Coast. Last year I lived through a direct hit from Hurricane Ivan. This was my 4th hurricane I've been through. I've evacuated, I've stayed and road them out, neither one of those experiences were pleasurable. Evacuation is confusing, frightening, and extremely stressful. First and foremost when you return, you don't know what you are returning to. While you are evacuating, the traffic is horrendous, but: people on the road are like "neighbors". We form bonds at the hotels we stay at while we wait to return to our homes. The strangest thing I've ever seen when evacuating was the "reverse laning" on the interstates. Driving on the "wrong" side of the intersate was a weird feeling and it was an eerie feeling. While sitting and waiting for this big "monster" swirling toward your home, you can't keep your eyes off the TV. I think I stayed up all night as Ivan plowed ashore across my home area, watching as much TV as I could until it was too dangerous for the TV people to be out in the storm. Then you wake the next morning and flip on the TV just to "see" what happened after the "swirling monster" passed over. It's a fear in your gut you can't explain. Then while driving back to your home, you see all the big utility trucks, the National Guard vehicles, the Rescue vehicles carrying food and water rushing in the same direction you are. While returning from evacuating Ivan, we all had to re route because of the Interstate 10 bridge falling into the Escambia Bay. As we travelled along the highway, the closer we got to our home area, cities became ghost towns, electricity was obviously not working, trees were blown from their roots, closer and closer you see the devastation, and you can't help but stare and look at what this "freak of nature" has left in it's path. I remember having to go to the bathroom so badly (number 1) and I couldn't get into any store to use the bathroom because the cerfew was in place by the time I rolled into the area, I had to literally stop along side the highway and go before I soiled myself.

I saw first hand the devastation of Ivan. I was EXTREMELY blessed to have had minimal damage to my home and property, but, as I drove down into Gulf Shores and Orange Beach and saw buildings literally ripped in half, and what was left of our beautiful beach washed up across the road, I had to go back home. I couldn't stand to look at other people's losses.

Now with Katrina: I can't even explain how I feel for those people. Especially those in the Super Dome. I don't understand how all that could happen. I live in the country and we even had National Guard units in place the very next day checking ID's on our road, and we had a Rescue station nearby supplying our little area with MRI's and water! ONE DAY after Ivan had crossed over!
The pictures that flashed across my TV screen of that once beautiful city stirred up emotions in me that I couldn't understand.

For those of you who have ever been to the N.O. or Biloxi area, you know what it's going to take to rebuild the beauty of those two areas. The old Antebellum homes along hwy 90 in Biloxi are now just sticks. The elegant casino's are rubble. In New Orleans, one of the first areas that was settled in that area, Algiers, is devestated.

Both areas, Biloxi and N.O. are literally wiped out. I've smelled the smells, I've seen the pieces left behind, but this is the first time I've EVER seen such human suffering. You don't have to look at the destruction of the infrastructure, you can look into the eyes of those people to see the devastation.

But, you know, people are resiliant. We DO bounce back. We get torn down, and we come back stronger, and we ONLY do this because of those of you out there who pray for us, remember us and offer ANY sort of help. We DO come back! Our spirits are strong, though sometimes we need help from others to help us find that strength and use it to go on and survive. This board is doing just that. People WILL read it, it may take time, but they will know, and I believe in my heart that even though the suffering may not be able to read what we write here, they FEEL it, honestly.

Share your spirit.

tk
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"We must be the change we wish to see in the world"
Mahatma Gandhi

 
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Old 09-29-2005, 06:47 PM   #2
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Join Date: Aug 2004
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jbot HB User
Re: I try to understand:

Hi TK,
Yes I know what you are talking about. I live 75 miiles north of New Orleans and about 2 hrs from the beautiful beaches in Biloxi.We had some damage in our area and a small part of the parish flooded.I was just watching CNN and saw many places in the New Orleans area where we use to go eat and shop.I have never seen anything destroyed as much as this unless it was a war scene. Our area was the 1st town that most people comes when a storm gets into the gulf.It has been difficult with all the traffic and all the lines at the grocery and gas stations.Some times i feel really over whelmed. Will life ever get back for any of us? Today I went with my friend to take her little boy to get his weekly chemo treatment. He use to go to New Orleans to childrens hospital until the storm.All the children there was from as far away as Bay St. Loiuis Mississippi. As I looked into the face of these parents and the children it really hit me how truely blessed I am. My drive to the hospital was only 20 min away. Here was people that had lost their homes and they have children with cancer. When I left there I had a different out look on things. The traffic didn`t bother me the line in the grocery store didn`t bother me. I had seen people with really bad things happening in their lives. As I talk with them they all talked about building again and just like you did I know they are survivors.We live in the south we are pronged to storms. As I`m typing this people in California are dealing with forrest fires and a few weeks ago they had a small earth quake. In the north they will have snow storms.
Some times we are knocked down and we have to pick ourselves up dust ourselves off and go again.I know the south will rise again We are a strong bunch. I know people in shelters might not believe that right now but when they are able to get back into a house and have time to think about everything that has happpen they will realized what they have lived through and they will be stronger for it. I have a little saying " If I never had a problem then how would I know my God could slove them ".If money was no object to me i`d take everyone of them back to their community and rebuild there house just like it was before the storm. But there isn`t anyway I can do that so I will end by saying to everyone that lost anything to these storms my prayers are with you to help you through these hard times that you are going through.There is a light at the end of the tunnel just look up. Thanks TK for starting this thread you gave me a chance to write what I felt today Bless you..........jbot

 
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