In search of what's next

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Water water everywhere...

On the plane ride back from Orlando, I sat next to a woman from New Orleans. Her name was Debbie. She commented about having to go from Nashville to Cincy to get a flight to New Orleans, so I went ahead and started talking to her.

I asked her how things were going in NO. She said it was a mess moving at a snails pace. Power had been restored in a few areas and some businesses were trying to get back up and running. No greenery, just mud. Trash strewn and piled everywhere. And it stinks.

She said her house was only a couple of blocks from the levee break, even though the ground her house was on was a foot above sea level and her floor was 3 feet above that, there were still water marks on her ceiling. Her house had suffered no damage from the hurricane. The structure and roof were still intact.

However, she said she had gotten a phone call the day before from a contractor who had just finished gutting it. Turns out the coat of gunk left by the flood had invited mold and mildew and it wasn't leaving easily. She was waiting on health inspectors to tell her if the shell was usable or not.

She had said her daughter was going to college in Baton Rouge. She had just had back surgery when the hurricane arrived, so her daughter came and took her out of town. She returned to Baton Rouge as well as the company she worked for and they kept her employed. Her home insurance, which included a flood rider, paid her off already, but she's still waiting to see if she can fix the house or not.

Her house was more fortunate than her neighbors. One house was moved 15' off the foundation. The other was split in half. One neighbor's boat was in top of the tree in her front yard.

I asked her what she would do if her house ended up condemed from the mold and she said she wanted to stay, but didn't know if she'd get to rebuild or not.

The more she talked, the more she sounded forlorn. I felt so sorry for her. I offered to pray with her, but she wasn't interested. I was even sadder at that.

Please remember to pray for Debbie and the thousands of others in her same condition. It's got to be more traumatic than most of us can imagine. Especially since it's drifting from the nightly news.


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