1/08/2006

Hurricane Katrina






Sorry its been so long since I've posted, I've just gotten back from New Orleans doing disaster relief work. I was there for a week. It was quite an experience for me. I've helped out with hurricane relief before, but this was something totally different. I'm use to cutting up trees and handing out ice. This was crazy. The first thing that I need to state is that the news doesn't even do the situation down there justice. The flood water marks went up over my head at some houses, you could see it on the side of the house. The insides of these houses were desecrated and almost nothing good was left for the home owners. Imagine filling a house with water, mixing it up a bit letting the water drain out and then letting a damp house sit for four months and that's about what you got. On top of having to come home to this mess the home owners have been told by the city that to keep the smell down they must clean out all their belongings that have been damaged by the flood. This is also something that insurance agencies are also requesting the home owners do. Furniture was scattered all over the house, the fridge would be turned in some God awful position so that when you turned it upright all the water that had seeped in and rotten food in it leaked out the front. There is no word to describe what a fridge full of four month old food smells like. I heard it said (from someone who knows) that these fridges smelled worse than a dead body. We would duct tape the fronts of fridges shut, but the water still leaked out. There was mold growing all over the walls and ceilings. The smell of the house was terrible in of itself. Clothes that sat in a room in a heap in the corner soaked, rotted and still damp were among the worst things that one could pull out of a house. Our job while we were there was simple. Gut houses, and we did it with efficiency. In about 2-4 hours we could empty out a house completely of all of its belongings. We could strip someone's life's long possessions within hours. Nothing that was left was good. All of it had mold and rot on it. I don't know what to think of it yet. I feel like I helped people out and that was great. But I also feel as if I'd like to know why all this happened. The torture these people experience is enough to break one's heart. We talked with a man who lost two of his best friends in the flood and then lost his dog who survived the flood, but was hit by a car. Some of these people have lost everything and the insurance agencies are telling them that they will not pay up, or they are giving them a portion of what they are owed. I just ask, why did God do this. I can see God working in it, so I have to say that God is helping out with the relief effort, but why was this allowed to happen? We heard tales of courage and tales of anguish, everyone had a story to tell. The things that I have seen will forever be scorched into my mind. I would suggest anyone go down and help out with the relief effort, it is an experience that will change your life. I have so much more to say, but if I was to write it I would be on here all night. One thing is for sure, New Orleans will never be the same.

No comments: