Jump to content

DRAGONMOUNT

A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

Recommended Posts

  • Replies 72
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Safe! Still no power, finally got semi reliable cell service back but not in all areas. So much devastation here. I no longer recognize my town... Will check in as I can but I'm sure you understand we do not have a lot of down time right now. Been helping my parents. Their house was destroyed but thank God they are safe.

Finally had a shower at a friend's house last night. Amazing how we take things like lights, AC, and hot showers for granted! Our power is supposed to be back up by 31 October. Here's hoping!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Pardon me while I vent . . . 

 

This is so unbelievably stressful. I can't get online to freaking pay my bills! Some, locally, are waiving late fees and my credit union is waiving NSF fees for autodrafts, etc., but those bills that I have to pay individually . . . 

 

We still have so much debris that needs to be cleaned up. Twisted metal trusses and roofing from the barn litter the pastures which haven't got a full fence line standing on any side (actually, has very little fence standing on any side). The run-in stall is a pile of rubble with one intact wall. The horses are in a small makeshift pen with no shelter and we are hauling water by the bucketful for them from the pond. Our well isn't working even when hooked up to our generator so we have no water. Still have no power and even when we do is it safe to turn on the main breaker? We had water pouring in through light fixtures and outlets during the storm. And good luck getting an electrician or plumber or roofer within the next 6 months or more.

 

I held it together pretty good initially but now I feel like Bilbo Baggins, "stretched thin, like butter scraped over too much bread."

 

That said, I am still getting paid, even though it, too, will end up being like butter scraped over too much bread (IOW, it won't go far). My heart goes out to all those families impacted by Michael that do not have a paycheck coming in . . . I can't imagine the stress they are under right now. Thank God for all the donations pouring in from all over -- food, water, tarps, volunteer "chainsaw army." We haven't availed ourselves of any because there are so many that are more needy than we are. Let the donations go where they are most needed. Well, except for ice. We have accepted some donated ice.

 

And there are the ubiquitous price gougers and thieves and looters. People with no conscious who prey upon their neighbors. Fortunately, they are fewer than the heroes. Thank God for the everyday heroes. The heroes that lend their backs and chainsaws to their neighbors to help them get the help the need, whether it's clearing a path out so they can leave their homes or getting trees removed from roofs so they can install tarps to prevent more water damage. The professional heroes that come from all over  -- linemen that leave their homes and families and come from as far away as Oklahoma to try to get our power back up and running. The first responders (LEOs, EMTs, paramedics, firefighters) that come from all over to support our overstretched first responders.

 

It will take YEARS for this area to recover. But do you know what's odd? I just now checked cnn but I saw nothing about it. We are already old news. Now it's all about politics.  I guess I missed all the news about Michael when it was hot but that's because I was living it. 

 

But we will persevere and we will overcome.  #PanhandleStrong

Link to post
Share on other sites

I know things can look very dark right now, but you've got this.  And it might recover quicker than you think--just about everyone during Katrina thought New Orleans would be a shadow of itself for years, decades, to come. But a few years later, we were back.

 

So hang in there and good luck! 

Link to post
Share on other sites

We have power!  We got power early Sunday evening. The lineman that came to the house to ensure our generator wasn't powering the house was from the Suwanee area. The generator wasn't plugged into the house but we shut it down for their peace of mind before they flipped our circuit back on.

 

No water yet. The pump housing for our well was damaged. A friend is supposed to come over this evening to repair it for us. We took our generator to my parents' house yesterday so they could at least get their pump running and have water in the house, and power if they wanted it.

 

It may rain today. Just what is needed (NOT). It will rain Thursday and Friday -- thunderstorms. That will slow down the linemen's efforts. At least, I hope they won't be out working in severe electrical storms. The lightning in Florida can be deadly.  

 

For awhile, we here in the Panhandle will have a new normal. Maintaining tarps until we can get roofers in (I've heard the shortest wait at this point will be 6 months for roofers; that will increase as more people start getting insurance money and trying to schedule repairs) will be an on-going thing. Some people's homes cannot be powered until an electrician can check and/or repair the house electrical system; needless to say, it's hard to find an available electrician. Then, once that is done, the county (or city, depending on location of the home) has to send out an inspector before the power company can switch on the power. 

 

My stepbrother drove down from NY last week and arrived Thursday morning. He owns a roofing company and has been covering my parent's house (the one that was decimated). My boys have been helping. My stepbrother and dad have spoken very highly of my boys, who have really risen to this challenge. It's been quite an effort. They pretty much had to build some temporary "trusses" to give them something to attach tarps to on the worst-hit section of the home. The rest, they've covered with Titanium Underlayment.  They had to go with tarps on the last section because of the rain expected today, Thursday, and Friday.

 

Today, I requested an appraiser to come look at the damage on my car. Typically, I'd drive it to a shop and get an estimate. Unfortunately, there isn't a body shop open within an hour drive so I had to request they send someone. 

 

We went and picked up our truck yesterday. We had loaned it to the matriarch of a family who was concerned they'd be trapped if their road washed out because they didn't have a 4WD vehicle and the patriarch of the family requires dialysis (it's a 3 generation household.  "Big Momma "and "Big Daddy" are the matriarch and patriarch. S is their daughter and Z is their S-I-L and S and Z have 5 kids). We took it over to them on Oct 8, when we were still expecting a possibly low-grade Cat 3 storm. They live in an area with HUGE oak and cedar and cypress trees. Needless to say, the road getting washed out was the least of their worries with Hurricane Michael. They managed to get themselves cut out in time (though not via the road) to get Big Daddy to dialysis on Wednesday, though I think they had to go out of town to do it. However, our truck and 2 or 3 of their vehicles were buried under trees and debris. They got our truck "cut out" a few days ago and we finally had a chance to go get it yesterday. It does have some damage but mostly cosmetic and it's a work truck anyway so no big deal. It will need a new windshield, however.  Z's truck was totaled and their oldest daughter's car also sustained significant damage. We had actually tried to go check on them on Thursday. We climbed through, over, and under so many fallen trees, waded through knee deep water (the creek was high) and ended up getting within a couple hundred yards of their home before we could go no further. Even if we had had a chain saw, it wouldn't have been enough. They needed a small army of chain saws!

 

Our near future will be tearing out drywall that got wet. We also need to have our HVAC system checked as it may have mold in it (water was pouring from the vents during the storm) before we can use it. It came on briefly Sunday evening but we turned it off because it smelled bad. We need to buy a new bed for my oldest as his was soaked during the storm.  Hubby is going to try to find a moisture meter today so we can make sure we take out all the affected drywall. We also need to get the insulation that got wet out of the attic but first we need appropriate PPE. We have a lot of debris to clean up, including debris that ended up on our property from neighboring property. We have to figure out a way to safely take down the remaining trusses and roofing from our barn that are currently wrapped around the horse trailer, and then assess the damage to the horse trailer. We need to get an estimate for repairs to our tractor (hood was crushed by the barn) but the Kubota dealership and service center was severely damaged and we have no idea how long it will be before they are back up and running. We need the tractor for the cleanup effort so we may end up hauling it out of town for repairs. We need to build a shelter for the horses before winter and fence in a larger area. They are in a "round pen" that is typically used for training so it's not much space at all.

 

If all this sounds disjointed, I apologize! I've got so much going through my head right now of all that needs to be done. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh my word, Dar!! You guys must have backbones of titanium, to thrive in the area that you live in! My thoughts and utter admiration go out to you. I wish I could help in some way, but all I can offer are words of encouragement.

Link to post
Share on other sites

No water yet. Either we have a break in the line or the well pump is damaged. It's short cycling. So I still can't do laundry or dishes and we are still having to flush manually using buckets and drink bottled water.

 

Got an estimate today from the emergency restoration company for moisture mitigation.  It's pricey but necessary. Sent the estimate to our desk adjuster. Hopefully, we can get them started on Monday.

 

Waiting on an estimate from the roofers. Insurance is paying for a total new roof that is up to current code. Need to price flooring for the 2 rooms from which carpet was or will be pulled.

 

Waiting on the company that built our barn to come out and give us an estimate to repair or replace.

 

Need to price fencing materials to get our horses housed in a safer and larger area. Also need to get a shelter built for them.  This expense is not covered by insurance.

 

Need to apply for a loan to cover our hurricane deductible of $7200 and automobile deductibles for damage to my car ($1000).

 

Had to buy a new battery for my car today ($120), go in to work for a short meeting with upper management to discuss return to work plans, meet the guy that build our house in 2008 because he located a part we needed for our pump (yay! even though it didn't fix the problem), and had to go to the emergency drop-off for livestock supplies/meds to get meds for my horse, who injured his eye. Our regular large animal vet was severely injured in a car accident several months ago and is still not back to work. However,  an equine dentist, who is also a vet, and who travels regularly to this area, is doing some pro bono work for hurricane victims. I messaged her this morning and she told me what to get and where and was very responsive via text throughout the day. She'll be back in town on Sunday and can see him then.

 

Stick a fork in me, I'm done for today. Time for bed. Tomorrow is another busy day. We have to go help my sister as one of her tarps is coming loose. I have to go do laundry at my mom's house. Will probably take a shower while I'm there, as well. And at some point we have to start picking up all the debris littering our property and cutting up all the trees that came down.

 

Oh, and I have to start back to work next week. At least I get to telework and they are being very flexible with schedules. As long as we work our 40 hours, we are good (just no working on Sundays or holidays).

 

Have a great night (or day), y'all.  

 

Dar

#850Strong

#PanhandleStrong

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank the Light that you have insurance, and that it does seem to cover quite a lot!

 

Hope your horse is going to be ok *hugs*

Link to post
Share on other sites

The ongoing saga . . .

 

My horse's eye is fine! Vet came by today (she's from out of town and is doing a LOT of pro bono work in the affected area) and gave him the all-clear AND a horse cookie. She then gave both horses an Eastern/Western/West Nile vaccine booster.  No charge!  :wub:  She is spearheading a Herculean effort of raising money and volunteers to help horse (and other livestock) owners here. She's amazing.  https://tuneupsequine.com/

 

Moisture mitigation is ongoing so we now have 4 people living in about 1-1/2 rooms because the other rooms are blocked off with thick plastic while the dryers are blowing 24/7.  And the house is a maze as a result. I have to go through the living room to go in the kitchen where I can access the sink, microwave, and island, then go through another "zipper" to get to the rest of the kitchen where the fridge is, or continue on to the laundry room or garage.  It's rather an inconvenience but better that than growing that black mold that is so very harmful and grows so quickly here in the humid south.  We still need to locate a roofer and electrician. And we have to select new flooring for the boys' rooms.

 

We have water! Finally!  The well guys came today. The non-return valve was broken so the water was draining back into the well from the tank. We ended up having to get a new pump.  Ouch. That was pricey. Hopefully, insurance will reimburse for that since it worked just fine before the storm.

 

It's going to take us years to get our property back to pre-Michael condition because insurance is not paying for any of our horse fencing or the run-in (horse shelter in the pasture) that was destroyed. The money they gave us for the barn and pump house were "depreciated" so we only got about 2/3 of what it cost us for the barn back in 2010. It will not rebuild the barn or build a new pump house.  We are going to have to get a loan to cover the difference, plus our deductibles, and get sufficient more to buy fencing materials and materials for a new pump house. I'm hoping we'll be eligible for a disaster loan through SBA. Interest rate is 2% and we have a year before the first payment is due. 

 

My head is spinning with all of this yet at the same time I realize how very blessed we are to only have been impacted this much. Others lost their entire home. Some were renting and had no renter's insurance and now not only have no place to live but have no belongings either. So I guess I would say that we were detrimentally affected by this storm, but not devastated.

 

The landscape here is so different now. Once towering pines have been snapped or bent, ancient oaks, cedar and cypress trees were completely uprooted. Those trees are now dying so the once green landscape is prematurely brown. Wildfire danger is scarily high as a result. Lots and lots of fuel . . .  The timber industry here will be non-existent for the next 30 years. People are having to leave the area because there is no housing available. Many businesses are closed for repair and/or operating under reduced hours.

 

If you want to see photos go to google and input Hurricane Micheal aftermath.

 

We are still under a curfew although that has been relaxed to midnight - 6 a.m.  (initially, it was sundown to sunup).

 

Internet still sucks. Verizon is still rebuilding their infrastructure so more often than not trying to get online is an exercise in frustration and futility.  Cable companies are estimating up to 6 weeks to get cable (TV, internet, and phone) back online so no internet through usual means.  

 

I'm back at work now. Doing both a telework and maxi-flex thing. I went to the office today and will go again tomorrow but will probably telework on Thursday and Friday. Hubby and I bought "burner" AT&T phones (prepaid) so I could have more reliable connectivity when I telework. AT&T, oddly enough, never lost service.

 

Well, it's late and tomorrow will be another long day! Thanks for "listening" to me ramble!

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh, Dar. I just hate insurance companies. Not only are the deductibles killers, but then they won't cover all of the damage and they depreciate everything. No one should have to take a loan to cover a deductible.

 

I'm so happy the horses are well. Does your house look like a crime scene with the tape?

Link to post
Share on other sites

My heart goes out to you, Dar - it must be so difficult for everyone affected! I'm really glad your horsie is ok, and that the lovely Vet is seeing to them all so well!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Dar, keep up that attitude.  I know it's probably tough at times but you're wonderful and amazing for having it.  You've got the perfect perspective.  I pray that you are able to get everything rebuilt soon and that it ends up being cheaper than expected.  So happy to hear the good that is happening and the people who are making a difference there.

Link to post
Share on other sites

We contracted with some roofers today! They are to start drying in the roof by Wednesday. Once it's dried in, it will keep things dry for at least 120 days but they assured us that we will not have to wait that long to get the shingles installed. And we are getting a great price, too! It will be expensive, yes, for a whole new roof, but we have already received a check from our homeowner's insurance that will cover that, at least. We have to send the check to our mortgage company and they, in turn, will cut the check(s) to the contractors doing the work on our house.

 

We also ordered a storage shed today. I'll go put the deposit on it mid-next week and then it'll be about 3 weeks until delivery. We'll be able to use it for some of the stuff that was in the barn before it was destroyed.  It won't fit the tractor, but the tractor isn't running right now anyway; it was damaged in the storm and leaks fuel.  We plan to put it where the barn is now and then build a "lean-to" against it for our horses and hopefully some hay storage, as well.  Speaking which, hay is in short supply hereabouts right now.  

 

Anyway, for the next 3 weeks, we'll have to clear out the barn area to prepare it for the new shed and run-in.  Hubby will also be helping my sister with interior repairs (removal of wet insulation and drywall, replacement of drywall, etc.).  Unfortunately, the house she lives in was not insured. It's the house I lived in when I still lived at home. My parents bought a different house about 20 years ago and let my sister move into the "old house." They were going to sign it over to her this year but it didn't get done before the storm so all repairs will be out of pocket. Because of that, we'll help her as much as we can. My dad has 2 other homes to repair; having to fund a 3rd will be too much, especially given his health and the stress he's been under, especially since their home was so badly damaged and part of it pretty much needs to be rebuilt.

 

Late next week, hubby and I will drive up to North Georgia to winterize their little cabin so they don't have to worry about damage there (broken water pipes, etc.). There's no way my dad can make that trip right now.

 

Our new normal is a difficult one but we will persevere! We will overcome! 

 

Thanks all for listening!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh, Dar, so much to do and get done! I know you guys will get through it.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't understand why you guys don't build with bricks or concrete or something else which is sturdier than whatever it is that you use. I'm glad things seems to be looking up a little bit, though *hugs*

Link to post
Share on other sites

Elgee, our home is brick. Our pole barn was just a pole barn; 6x6 poles with metal trusses and roof. The run-in shelter was wood but it was, honestly, put together over the course of several years so I'm not real surprised it didn't last.  That said, 155 mph winds will take out just about anything. Hurricane Michael was like a large EF-3 tornado. It didn't affect only a small track but a huge swath covering numerous counties. We are out of the news now but THOUSANDS are now homeless or living in the ruins of their home or in tents in their yards or have moved out of the area altogether.  There is also very little available housing-wise. Most apartment complexes on the east side of the Hathaway Bridge were damaged to the extent that people could no longer remain there. Hotels are full of displaced residents and/or linemen and/or first responders from other areas who are here to help. Panama City Beach fared MUCH better as they were on the west side of the storm but housing on that side of the bridge is not affordable for so many people here.  There are no FEMA trailers here yet, though I've heard that 100 were approved of the 50,000 applications that were submitted. Even those who qualify for housing assistance from FEMA and get housing vouchers are having to go up to 2 hours away for lodging.  Businesses that are reopening don't have enough workers because the workers have no where to live.  

 

Whole homes were destroyed, roofs and walls caved in. In Mexico Beach. they were washed away by a 19-foot storm surge. Now, nearly one month after the storm, trees and construction debris (from the damaged homes) are piled up as high as a one-story house and clean-up isn't anywhere close to being done yet.

 

We are still under a curfew. There is no running to the store to grab a gallon of milk or loaf of bread because grocery stores now close at 6 (used to be 4). Even Super Wal-Mart which is typically open 24-hours per day closes at 6!  The hospitals are not accepting patients because they sustained so much damage. The Emergency Rooms are open but in-patients go to out-of-county hospitals. 

 

I could show you images that would make your heart ache if I could figure out how to do so successfully. I could show videos.  Huge metal electrical towers felled like so many trees.  Pine trees snapped like matchsticks. Huge, ancient oak trees ruthlessly uprooted.  Bricks peeled off of homes like an orange peel comes off an orange.

 

Schools are doubling up due to damage with the home school using the facilities in the morning and students from another school using them in the afternoon. 

 

Life will not return to normal for a long, long time. And even then, it won't be the normal we have long been used to.

 

But I'd like to think we are resilient. People are tired, people are cranky, but they are also helping each other. 

 

#PanhandleStrong

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

People do that.  You will come back.  Everything you're describing sounds very similar to Katrina's aftermath--just about everything was destroyed and scattered unless you were lucky enough to live close enough to the river, my cellphone couldn't connect for several weeks afterward, shops closed early long after a curfew was lifted, and so on.  It was hard going and the future seemed very dark in the months immediately after it, but we came back far more quickly than anyone thought we would.

 

Daruya--I know you'll get through this.  It's difficult, but you'll make it through.  :smile:

Link to post
Share on other sites

×
×
  • Create New...