Saturday, September 03, 2005

Thank you... Questions and Answers.

Alright, will someone who is more technologically knowledgeable than myself, please explain how when my cell starts working again, suddenly the landlines will kick in an hour or so later?

Anyway, as you can see both are now working.

First of all, I just had a chance to read through some of the comments to my posts... I literally cried. I am blown away, not just that this information is really getting out to the people that need it, but just the overwhelming good wishes and prayers. I can't say thank you enough.

There appears to potentially be some misunderstanding as to, in my limited communication capabilities, what the numbers and stuff I'm posting are. HRC = House Roll Call. For two hours or so each day, I am riding on my bike doing a street level check on homes in this area. If your street number is posted, this means that you have the corresponding damage which is listed afterwards. lt rf = Light Roof Damage. And so on. If your street address is NOT listed, this means your house has suffered very minor damage. I apologize for not getting more done, but will endeavor to do more. Today I am headed towards Sauve. I am aware of some specific requests for homes. Douglas St., George St., etc. I am on it, though I don't remember where Douglas St. is. (Judy, your house on Midway is fine.) It's been a long time since I was a street rat cruising around this entire neighborhood on my BMX bike. Whether or not your house address is or isn't posted, all have suffered somewhat. Trees ARE DOWN EVERYWHERE. Seriously, at least 2 per yard. Remember also, that I am not checking backyards, of course. All of this is superficially done from the street. Regarding the requests for pictures of specific houses, I only think that this will get out of hand. Just know, that River Ridge has been somewhat lucky.

Here's the full status of River Ridge as of right now. All roads in this immediate area have been cleared. Water pressure low, and undrinkable. Obviously landlines EXTREMELY intermittent, 3 hours total since Sunday. Cell in and out. I still can not dial out from cell, but today, right now, I can receive. Bizarre. Obviously no electricity. This will be about a month. There are power poles down everywhere. Power lines draping across streets, you name it. We have not really seen any sign of Parish Officials, but this is to be understandable, as they are working with the people who really need it.

During the day, everything appears safe. At night, it's pretty freaky. Am I scared... yes. At night, you mentally weigh things that you have never considered before. Ok, so I must turn on the generator in order to keep food frozen, but the generator is loud. Will this draw danger to me, or deter it? With the generator on, I won't be able to hear anyone approaching. And if it's off, did I pick up too much crap from the yard today so that I won't hear people approaching? Is the dog barking at a raccoon, or am I about to get into a gun battle? The stress is pretty crazy.

During the day, you must stay busy, otherwise, you dwell. Dwelling is not good. This morning was BAD. I had zero communication, and trust me, just sending out txt msgs is heaven. Then the damn chainsaws would not work. All three of them. You must really fight to not take a mallet and break things during these frustrating moments. When I discovered I could text out, by getting a txt message from Jessica, if I could have done sommersaults, I would have.

It seems as if every time you have a small victory (cut down a branch, get cell coverage, etc.) something else bad happens. It's the whole two steps forward, one back thing.

Anyone who is going to try and return on Monday would be greatly appreciated. The more of us out here, the safer we all are. You will need to bring a chainsaw, fuel, chainsaw oil, mosquito repellant, and good spirits (this little neighborhood has been very lucky). Also, within a few days you will acquire the new skill of being able to identify what type of helicopter is passing over at tree-top level without looking up at it.

I have, so far, in my limited bicycle travels, seen NO evidence of any looting. Hopefully, this will remain, but remember, I have not travelled far.

I actually spoke with my parents for the first time since wed or so, whenever they left. It was a huge relief, I'm sure it must worry the hell out of them when the communications are out, which then makes me worry.

Yesterday afternoon, I was talking with Otto and John when a cop car pulled up. It was my damn cousin getting chauferred into the Ridge from outside of the city to check on me. He's not a cop, but his buddy who is, and he had to come into the city for whatever reason, so he brought him. It was hilarious and fantastic. I have two great photographs, but I will not post them for fear of possibly getting the officer in trouble. I heard today, that on there way out, they pulled over a Kentwood water truck which was being driven by four survivors and had nearly 15 people in the back, including pregnant women. They admitted that they had stolen the truck, but were simply using it to escape. My cousin and the cop gave them some money, and warned them that the next cops might not be so understanding.

Also yesterday, one of our neighbors, a Dr. Fox, showed up walking down the street. He had been on duty at Tulane Hospital for five days straight. Mentioned that they had Marine Snipers on the roof of the hospital while evacuating it (people were shooting at the medi-vac copters ferrying out sick children). He had just been evacuated to Armstrong airport on a Chinook, and had started walking here (we're talking many miles) before a stranger stopped and gave him a lift most of the way. Together, he and I chainsawed our way to get to his driveway so he could get his car in order to go and pick up two other Tulane Docs and then head to the hospitals up in Baton Rouge and Lafayette. These guys are HEROS! We're all exhausted here, but we're only cleaning up sticks. I can not imagine how the NOPD, the helo pilots, the actual rescurers, all the docs, the nurses, the mayor, the truck drivers and the people still in danger and not yet evacuated feel... My heart goes out to them all.

Oh yeah, and Dr. Fox, sorry if your wife reads this and I blow your story that you had to hack your way to your garage with a hatchet. lol.

Well that's a long post. More later.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

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You've got some great stuff here. Way to go!

AWSOME Garden Center
website. If you, or someone you know, has an interest in Garden Center,
please come and check it out. Enjoy!

3:04 PM, September 03, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey -- it is your cousin... the one who knows the other guy that was in the cop car yesterday. I can't view any of your pictures. Tell me how.

4:07 PM, September 03, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

rumor is that the passenger in the police car might show up Sunday am. with goodies

4:30 PM, September 03, 2005  
Blogger Thirza said...

Sending all my love and prayers. I have long yearned to visit your fair city and it's heartbreaking to see what has happened. Just know the whole world is watching, especially us here in Canada. Keep up the struggle!

5:24 PM, September 03, 2005  
Blogger Shizzle said...

I'm not sure if you'll read this until later - but you fuggin' rock. You are brave, and you're in danger, and you STILL HELP PEOPLE OUT.

People like you make this world worth living for.

5:47 PM, September 03, 2005  
Anonymous Monica said...

Hello. I'm from RR, Andrea St. Left Wednesday after storm. Friends still there. Got through to some earlier today. Glad to hear looting not prominent. but know The Spur by the Triangle West was looted Tuesday, perps arrested.

6:37 PM, September 03, 2005  
Blogger bunnygirl said...

Thanks for the insider info. I've been reading your blog since the storm hit. (Did you know you were linked in the Houston Chronicle?)

I hope you know that people all over the world are trying to help you folks. The level personal donations, fund-raisers and food drives are unprecedented in my memory. Here in Houston, pretty much all we discuss is how we can help. But I've read that donations are coming in from as far away as Indonesia!

Stay strong. In those moments when it seems overwhelming, draw strength from knowing how many people care. And when there's a way to reliably get stuff to you, I bet if you post info on how to do it, your friends out here in the blogsphere will respond.

Peace and strength to you!

8:46 PM, September 03, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If anyone doesn't understand the meaning of "Love they neighbor!", all they have to do is read you post. Those of us in Texas also love our neighbors in Louisiana, and are keeping you in our prayer, Hope the mountain top is coming into sight, j

11:20 PM, September 03, 2005  
Anonymous extulanedoc said...

I've been checking your blog every day since the storm hit. My husband and I used to live in Midcity, but moved to Seattle in 2000. Can't believe this has happened to NOLA - it's still surreal, despite all the evidence. Thanks for all your updates. Hang in there. People all over the US and the world are waking up every morning, thinking about y'all.

1:06 AM, September 04, 2005  
Blogger Shomp said...

Is Otto - Otto Schoenfeld? If so, I am his brother, Mike. I would really like to talk or otherwise communicate with him. I have talked to his wife and two of our cousins, Noel and Robert. I am in Austin, TX. Thanks for your great information.

9:54 AM, September 10, 2005  

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