Friday, October 3, 2008

Update after the hurricane

I apologize for not updating you all sooner. Here is what has been going on for the last 3 weeks.

We left the hotel the morning of the last post. It was me, my husband, Chloe (2 years) and Zoe (11 months) my mom, dad, sister, brother in law, their little girl (15 months) my brother, and his girlfriend. We have a small family, so we all stick together. As some of you may remember, my grandfather passed away this past Easter and lived in a small 2 bedroom house (apartment small) so we decided to go stay at his old house. At the time there was no electricity and water. Without getting into too much detail, the living conditions were rough but at least we were all together. We slept on the floor with no blankets, pillows, nothing but the clothes on our backs. We thought this was like any other hurricane evacuation and thought we would be back in a day or two so no one packed any more than you would for a weekend. It was miserable but we managed for the last 3 weeks. They just let people start coming back on the island a few days ago. When we got down here we realized although we lost a lot it could have been worse. Some people lost everything they had.

My husbands mom lost everything because the water was about 10 feet deep in her apartment and she is staying with a friend. The cats are all ok! Can you believe they all made it through 3 weeks of no electricity, food, and very little water? They are a little spooked but were so happy to see us!

My parents house made it out with no water damage and only roof damage. My sisters house had about waist high water, but luckily they live on the second floor and it was only storage underneath. They had roof damage and lost their washer and dryer along with everything in storage.

Our house on the other hand was a complete nightmare. The roof had major damage, the ceiling caved in and our bed was completely covered in mold and was a total loss, we had 4 broken windows and I lost all my scrapbooking stuff, and everything we had stored in our back room upstairs (wedding keepsakes, sentimentals), we had about a foot of water in our house which doesnt sound like a lot, but it ruined the hardwood floors, the kids playroom which kept all of their toys is a complete loss, it happened to be laundry day when we left so all our clothes in the hampers (90% of our day to day clothes) was completely molded and stunk to high heavens, washer, dryer, dishwasher, stove, fridge, treadmill, couches, everything flooded and if not molded, destroyed. glass everywhere, pool busted, siding fell down, window sashes fell, fence blew down, back fence completely down on all sides, bbq pit gone, trees down, the works.

Luckily our car was ok since we brought it with us. My sister's car flooded and so did her husband's. In addition, a tree fell on his truck. My dad's truck flooded, so did my brother's truck and his girlfriend's car, my parents RV was flooded as well.

We have been doing everything we can to recover but it is going to take a loooooong time. We finally have electricity, but the water is still unsafe to drink and there is no gas.

One good thing is that the girls' bedroom came out completely unscathed, so they are able to sleep comfortably in their beds in a familiar place at last. They have taken it the worst. I feel so bad for not being able to make them feel safe. They had not been sleeping or eating well and didn't know from day to day what was going on and why everyone was so sad. My 2 year old was getting very scared of everything and all 3 of the girls were very clingy. I just pray that this does not affect them for the long term. We stayed in our house for the first time last night since the evacuation 3 weeks ago. They all slept straight through the night and woke up so happy this morning! They were so happy to be home.

The Pretty Scrappy design team has been amazing! They all teamed up and sent us gift cards to get things we need, and clothes and toys for the girls! We now have an air-bed to sleep on and we all slept better than we have all month. We now have some clothes, food, diapers, formula, milk even! The kids have toys to play with and they are so excited. I am so amazed at how many people care so much. The mail was held until yesterday so it all came in at once and my husband and I just cried like babies as we opened and read each card and have never been so appreciative of anything in our lives. It's crazy how much we take for granted. This has opened my eyes up to a whole new world and I will never be the same. I thank God for the little things in life that we have come to rely on and the people that have helped us out in a way they will never truly know.

We are living in 2 rooms upstairs and the rest is in the process of being fixed. The hard part is over... it can only get better from here. I see a light at the end of the tunnel and each day we will get closer and closer to "normal." Thank you all so very much for all the uplifting comments and support. You all really mean the world to me in a time like this. Every single one of you. Thank you so much for your prayers. God really pulled through for us.


neety said...

I have just read this from my cosy and safe house in Australia and I am in tears. I can't believe how much you've all been through and how you now have to rebuild your lives. You are so lucky to have the support of those around you. I hope everything turns out OK. I'm thinking of you from the other side of the world.
Hugs :)
ps I was following blog train links but that no longer seems important

Ariana said...

Casey, I'm SO glad to hear from you. I've been totally worried. Silly, I know, because it's not like we're "friends" or anything. I'm so glad your family is all right, and all of the cats. The recovery process, especially after losing so much, will probably take some time. I'm SO SO SO SO SO glad you're OK.

mattie said...

I was just thinking last night how I really wished you'd post an update. I'm so glad the kits made it through...I'm an animal lover big time! The fact that the girls slept the through the night sounds like a step in the right direction.


lwlittlebit said...

I'm so glad to hear that you are ok! I kept checking your blog hoping for an update. I'm so very sorry that you and your family lost so much; it's just heartbreaking. We were so lucky that the storm didn't do any damage other than a downed fence. I live in Houston 50 miles from the coast and we had 100 mile an hour winds here, but didn't have to deal with a storm surge. Please keep your chin up and God will see you through this. Sending up prayers for you. Linda

michelle said...

I'm sorry for all that was lost but I'm so glad your family is safe. Best wishes as you put your house back together.

Anonymous said...

Thank heavens you are back! I have been checking in every single night! Sooo worried and concerned for yourself and your family.. and pets! I can only relate your story to when my mother and I lost everything to a fire, becase our furnace blew up in the middle of winter. It was awful. These things can be so traumatizing. I feel so much better after reading your update. I know you lost a lot..but even the most precious material things .. are just that. No one can take your memories. I was elated to hear the cats are okay too. I know this is sooo very hard.. but yes light at the end of the tunnel for sure. Thanks so much for sharing this update with us. It warmed my heart to hear how your friends pulled through for you all.


Tanya/TiggerRD said...

Thanks for the updates - I can truly appreciate the gratitude you feel about just having your family together. Where we live, there are earthquakes to contend with, including one in my past from 1994 in which I lost a lot. It does keep things in perspective about what is most important - I'M SO HAPPY YOUR FAMILY IS TOGETHER AND SAFE AND HEALTHY!! What wonderful news about everyone coming together to help - such a blessing. Hang in there during the recovery - lots of emotions can surface long after the crisis has passed. I'm really happy the cats were ok too. Hugs!!!!

Cheryl H. said...

I was 6 years old when our family lost our home to Hurricane Agnes in PA, USA. We spent 3 weeks with 12 people and 3 dogs. The hardest part was losing the familiar but the best part was spending time with family. At 42, I look back with good memories of that time spent with those no longer here. Take care, take it slow and things will get better. Thoughts and prayers, Cheryl in FL

Julie P. (babyofmine) said...

It is sooooo good to hear from you! I'm so sorry for everything you've lost. But I am so happy that your family stayed safe and together! Love you! {{hugs}}

Anonymous said...

Wow, I can only imagine a litte what you are going thru, when I was in college in NC Hurricane (I believe it was Andrew) came thru all the way inland and of course there was just major wind and weather related damage. I am glad to hear that your family is safe and together.

Carole N. said...

I am so terribly sorry for your loss and that of your families. I pray that your life will return to normal as soon as possible.

I had 12 family members living in Greensburg, KS when it was destroyed by a tornado a year ago. They lost their homes, cars, and jobs, but thankfully not their lives. I can understand how hard this is on you.

Sending my prayers and hugs.

Chris said...

So sorry for all your loss but so happy that you are all safe! Remind your daughters how mom & dad kept them safe by taking them away from the storm. That's the best thing you could have possibly done for them. And of course God holds you all in the palm of His hand - what safer place is there than that!

Kristi said...

I just read your update and it had me in tears. Just know that you and yours are in my prayers and thought. And Bless all of your friends, you are a very rich woman where it family, friends, and love.

Kristi said...

I meant every word I said. Sometimes many people forget that what makes this world and everything matter in it is taking a moment out of our own lives and paying it forward. This is something I've been teaching my daughter and am now starting to teach my son. No matter how hard our life is there is always someone who has it harder. And maybe just a simple smile or a kind gesture (such as opening the door) can make them feel a tad bit better. Oops didn't mean to write a book. Take care of yourself and yours.