Saturday, September 03, 2005

Clean Up

Laurel Missippi is about 100 miles from the coast but still the distruction is everywhere. Most homes are in some way affected.

Some houses have just a few shingles missing whereas another may have an entire oak tree sliced right through the middle of it, like a knife to butter.

One home looked like Dorothy's home just after it landed in Oz. Upon closer inspection it seems that an oak tree was planted over a concrete storm drain many years ago. The previous rains loosened the soil and the storm sent the tree into the house. The weight of the mighty oak (six feet around) pushed the house right off it's foundation. The shift caused it to crush two cars parked below.

I spent most of the morning cleaning up one home. It too had a large oak tree (it would take two men to reach around it) that went through a green house. It is a twisted mess. There was glass everywhere. The owner said lightheartedly: "Well, I guess I can't salvage any of the windows."

In the town the single tool most needed is a chainsaw. Someone has already gone through town loping the huge tree trunks so as to make the streets passable.

Still, power lines drape through the streets like cob webs. Some lines have orange ribbons tied to them so that drivers can avoid becoming entangled.

Most homes still have gas. Gradually the power is coming back. Today some street lights are working.

As we drove through the streets today, nearly everyone was out on their porch drinking beer. One family had a BBQ going. Yet, a large oak tree rested against the peak of their house. Well, you still have to eat.

It's hot down here - 93 degrees with 77% humidity. I sweat standing in the shade. Everyone is shellacked with sweat. Without electricity there can be no AC. Without AC there's sweat. It's just a fact of life here.

After the heat of the day passed, we climbed back on the roof to repair. A small oak tree landed on the house and speared holes. We didn't notice it until we started cleaning up there. We were able to patch one roof but the sun left us before we could finish the other. By the time we got all our stuff off the roof, it was dark. So I washed the tar off my hands with gas by candlelight. Yikes!