Wednesday, September 28, 2005

I found gas!

Hurray!, I was able to get gas today for my truck. Only a few stations are open and usually have long lines. I was heading back to my office from the Evacuee Shelter this morning when I saw Brookshires didn't have too long of a line. I took advantage of it and filled up. I'm glad because I was down to 1/4 of a tank.

We still have a lot of evacuees in the area and people are still without power. FEMA is distributing food, ice and water at the Albertsons to help people. But slowly, things are trying to get back to normal, except our New Orlean and Beaumont evacuees probably will be staying for awhile. Houston evacuees are all heading home.

I worked at the Civic Center shelter all day yesterday and didnt get home until almost 9 p.m. Our shelter had all the medical needs people. I was taking sample drugs from my clinic over to help patients who were out of their prescriptions. I also worked the front desk checking people in. I helped old men in wheelchairs to the bathroom. I cleaned toilets, I helped serve food. I let lots of people use my cell phone who were trying to reach loved ones. I felt especially bad for an elderly woman in her 90s that said her dog was still in the house down in Port Arthur. I didn't know what to do for her. I knew the dog was in real trouble and no way to help. There were so many good people volunteering their time. One young girl came up and asked if we had any oxygen tanks for her grandpa. He was stuck in their house out of town. When I said yes (FEMA donated lots of oxygen tanks for those that needed them to breath, she about passed out. She said she just knew I wouldn't be able to help her. So I carried to tanks out to her car. Small things like that really made me feel good that we could help people in need. Churches were bringing in food all day to feed these people too. We moved into a good community. Last night we bused a lot of the sick to a facility in Fort Worth. They didn't want to leave because we treated them so well, but we needed to send them to a place where they had better living conditions and better access to healthcare for the long term. I have a feeling some of these people won't be going home for months, if they even have a home to go to.

Our church finally got its electricity back yesterday. I'm glad because our evacuees were living in 100 degree heat without relief. Sean's school is still out until Monday because evacuees are living in the school. Sean is getting bored just sitting at home. But we are all ok. We have electricity, food and water. I'm grateful because many do not. The Lord is looking out for us.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

I worked at one of the evacuee shelters today. I'm so tired. Posted by Picasa

Monday, September 26, 2005

Look the roots are still in our neighbor's backyard. It tore up their sidewalk and about knocked down their walkway. Posted by Picasa

The tree is chopped up and waiting for the trash truck Posted by Picasa

Here is another view of our poor deck Posted by Picasa

They removed the tree today. Our poor deck is smashed and the fence is down between our back neighbor's yard and ours. Looks like the hot tub survived! Posted by Picasa

After Rita

Luckily Rita didn't hang around as we were first told would happen. The sun is shining and things are drying out. Many are still without power and all roads east of us heading south are still closed to traffic. Nobody can go in or out. During the storm, I had to work at the hospital from Friday at 7pm to Saturday 7am. The hospital was in emergency mode. After my shift, I went home around 7:30 a.m. Little did I know the eye of the storm would be passing our house within 30 minutes. The hurricane was moving so fast. A few days ago they thought it wouldn't get to our area until late afternoon or early evening. Anyway, power was out in our neighborhood. Driving home I didn't think the wind felt that strong. When I got out of the car, I could really feel it. I got inside and Page was awake. She took me to the backdoor to show me how the wind knocked down half of the fence in the backyard. As we were by the backdoor looking outside we hear this loud CRACK! and we see this huge tree falling, heading right for us. We jumped back so fast. I just knew it was coming through the house. To our good fortune, only the top branches landed on the house. However, the tree did knock down more of the fence and destroyed our wooden deck. (see pictures below). From that point, the wind was getting stronger and stronger. The trees were all getting whipped around. All of a sudden we hear a knock on our back door. It's Rick, our neighbor who lives behind us. He informs us that our vent fans on the roof are about to fly off and water will be coming into our house. He asked if we had a ladder. We don't! He ran and got his and climbed our roof with winds blowing 75 miles an hour and rain blowing sideways. During the peak of the hurricane we are putting plastic bags on our vent openings on the roof! I was soaked to the skin. For the next few hours we just rode out the storm in our house.

Sunday- We got a call from our Bishop around 10 am. He wanted Sean to come up to church for a special sacrament meeting at 11 am for the evacuees. We had cancelled services, but he felt the evacuees seeking shelter in our church needed the sacrament. The majority of them were from a Ward in the Beumont Stake- one of the hardest hit areas. When Sean and I got there, we were amazed to see over 100 evacuees. They were all in the chapel ready for Sacrament meeting. Electricity was only working in 1/3 of the building. No air conditioning! And it got to 100 degrees Sunday. Everyone was in jeans and t-shirts. It smelled like a locker room. But the spirit was so strong. A Patriarch from their stake was among them and he talked about repentence and keeping covenants. He also talked about the Book of Mormon. Then a woman sang accapella and bore a strong testimony. Our Bishop closed the meeting with some comments. 5 non-members came up and asked for a copy of the Book of Mormon and said their church never helped them as much as we did. Each family had a classroom to use as a makeshift bedroom. The Relief Society room was the dining room. The church has been in contact with our Bishop and Saturday afternoon brought in a truckload of food and supplies.

Later that afternoon Page and I took over some fans from our house to the church becuase, like I said, there is no air conditioning and it was hot. The people were very grateful. After that, I went to help serve dinner with other members of the Ward to people in shelters. We fed about 200 people. And most of those were from New Orleans, here from the Katrina Hurricane disaster. We are still helping those people too. We have so many evacuees in our city, that the population has doubled to about 110,000. There is no gas to be found anywhere in the area and food shelves are scarce, but somehow we are all pulling together to make it work. Despite all the criticism you hear on TV, I have seen government, red cross, churches and everyday citizens all pull together in helping people in need, with no care if the person is black, white, red or yellow. Now the clean up begins.......

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Hurricane Rita came to visit and left us a nice fallen tree in our backyard. So I guess we are going to get a new fence and deck. The winds were intense. Posted by Picasa

Hurricane Rita came to visit Posted by Picasa

Friday, September 23, 2005

Hurricane Rita

Welcome to Texas! We have been here only a month and are going to experience our first Hurricane. Of course, it just happens to be the 3rd largest hurricane in recorded history. I found out today, the eye of the storm will pass directly over east Texas. Yep, right over our house. We can expect flooding, high winds, power outages and tornadoes. We are well stocked with bottled water and food to last us awhile. We live in a brick house, but have lots of tall trees all around us. One HUGE tree in our backyard too. If that came down on us, the house would be destroyed. All my clinics that I oversee at work are closed, most are in evacuated areas. Despite being in the path, I'm glad I'm not down along the coast. The flight of residents has been rough to say the least. We are on an evacuation route and our city is full of weary evacuees. Shelters are full, lines at gas stations are blocks long, people are camping out in parking lots. There isn't anything on store shelves. Luckily we filled our cars with gas and stocked our cupboards earlier in the week. We are as ready as we can be. We have radios, flashlights, batteries, food water, etc. Worst case scenario is that we will have to evacuate. Luckily our friends in Shreveport have invited us to stay with them, although the storm is supposed to sit over Shreveport for several days. Family has been very concerned, calling us every day. They are even placing our names on the temple rolls today. I'm all for that. I'm not too nervous, but realistic that things can get rough. They say we will probably have sustained winds of 75 miles an hour (making it a catergory 1 hurricane by the time it gets here on Sat. night). Plus expect about 12 inches of rain. We are not in a low lying area, which helps us. But our church is in the flood zone and we have evacuees living in the church from the Texas coast. We also have church on Sunday morning. I wonder if we will be able to get into that neighborhood to go to church. Well everyone, keep us in your prayers. We are in the direct path of Rita, but luckily about 200 miles inland, nevertheless, we are still in the path. We just are going to "hunker down" and ride it out. With all the strong wind heading our way, it may make me homesick for Livingston. To them, this would probably be a slight breeze... haha.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Here we are in Paradise Posted by Picasa

Sunday, September 18, 2005

The Happy Gilmores Posted by Picasa