Alicia and I have finally been able to take in a hurricane evacuee like we had first set out to do. If you remember back, some entries ago, I mentioned that we were wanting to help out a single mom who was displaced to the hurricane and now we are doing just that!
When Rita blew in and knocked out Beumont and Port Arthur, Myrtle (aka Mimi) had no place to stay and needed a home to refuge in. Fortunately, Mimi's granddaughters did not live too far away, one in San Antonio and the other in good old Sugar Land. So after a brief stint in SA, Alicia's gramma (and her little dog too!) came to stay with us until they can get Beaumont up and running again.
We are absolutely blessed to get to spend this time with Mimi and she is just a wonderful lady and a get-along to go-along kind of a person - which is some what uncommon in old people. call me a hater but it's true. She has been pretty worried about damage done to her house and her town, so on Saturday I drove with her to Beaumont and surveyed the damage. Fortunately, her house was absolutely fine. Zero damage. Every freaking tree in the county did not fair so well. Driving through there was pretty amazing. Awesome in the terrible sense of the word. Gigantic trees pushed over like it was nothing. Some were snapped in half, but most were uprooted. Trees as long as 3 house lengths, laying on the ground with their tremendous root system sticking out of the ground. This story repeated everywhere. Tree after tree after tree consumed people yards and crowded into the streets. (I guess what they say about George Bush hating the environment IS true) Amazingly, we saw very little structural damage compared to the Ent-terrifying tree damage.
The power was still off in almost all the area (even for the white people!) and our biggest task was cleaning out Mimi's refrigerator and freezers. You know how old people keep their house stocked with food...
Imagine a freezer packed to overflowing with meat and chicken (all raw) sitting in a hot box for almost 2 weeks. Maggots crawling everywhere. Blood dripping on everything. The sweetish smell of rotting meat stuck in your nostrils and on your hands. I did my task without looking at everything too closely but the smell almost overcame me twice. I can't write gross enough words to describe that smell. A mortician I'm not.
The local radio was taking in calls all day and dispensing information. The biggest complaint/most common was 1. that it was impossible to nail down a correct number for the red cross and 2. FEMA was evaluating income levels before dispensing food stamps unlike with Katrina - I guess the government really doesn't help those who help themselves.