Irene’s Message From Houma
——– Original Message ——–
Subject: (no subject)
Date: Wed, 7 Sep 2005 03:18:00 EDT
From: Irene Michel
To: Bread ‘n Molasses
This is Irene from Houma, Louisiana, a city about 60 miles Southwest of New Orleans. My husband and I are older residents (86 and 78) and have seen many hurricanes in our day. This one was by far the worst.
We evacuated to a town a bit south of Lafayette, La., where we stayed four days at the home of one of our sons. Then another one of our sons stopped by the Thursday after the hurricane and brought us with him to SugarLand, Texas, where we stayed until Saturday at the home of yet another son. (We have 8 sons and a daughter.)
We didn’t feel any of the winds of the hurricane where we were, but at home in Houma, two of our children came by the house after to empty our two refrigerators and clean them. They left one open to get rid of the smell of shrimp I had frozen. The shrimp had defrosted and was giving out a horrible stench, they said. I thought of the hours of work I had put into cleaning the shrimp, but realised there was no need to worry about that. At least our entire family was safe.
We worried about one of our sons who had decided to stay in one of the suburbs of New Orleans. He realises now that was a mistake. He says if he ever hears of another Category 5 hurricane, even if it’s off the coast of Africa, he’s outta here! About three days after the hurricane we heard from him and he is fine. There is still no electricity in his home, but fortunately he has a key to his father-in-law’s house a few miles away and sleeps there at night because the electricity has been restored there. (Here at our house we lost power for five days and our children would not let us return until power was restored.)
Another of our sons, who lives in Houma, chose not to leave. He, his wife and mother-in-law spent the night of the hurricane huddled in a closet in the centre of their home. Thank goodness there was no damage there either.
New Orleans as we knew it will never be the same, nor will it be the largest city in the state since so many have already begun or will begin lives elsewhere.
One of our sons had a business with stores in and around New Orleans. He doesn’t know what he will do since even if he has business places still, there will be nobody to purchase from his stores. I feel sure that New Orleans will appear to be a ghost town for several years until it is revitalised, if and when that happens.
I know that looting, shooting and other criminal activities happened in New Orleans during the aftermath of this hurricane. Although this got a lot of news coverage, let me reassure you that the majority of the people in New Orleans were good people, and not prone to violence. It’s sort of like the creaking wheel gets the oil kind of thing. The troublemakers were making news, I guess, and the reporters pounced on it.
May God bless us all, and especially those who went to their deaths and those family members left to grieve for their loved ones away from what was once called “home.”