Monday, September 22, 2008

Service in La Porte

On Saturday we had the opportunity to do some service for one of our neighbors to the southeast of us. A bishop from another ward works with a woman that lives down in La Porte, Texas, which is right on the coast. She was in serious need of some help, so the bishop recruited our singles ward to help out.
Just driving down there made me very grateful that having no electricity was my only complaint.
I shot this video as we were driving along the streets. Everyone had all the stuff out of their houses along the street - some for trash, and other piles set our for the insurance companies to inventory and inspect. The storm surge before Ike hit filled their houses with AT LEAST 4 feet of water. The smell was terrible and the houses were filled with mud. The damage was incredible.
We got a kick out of some of the things people wrote on signs or on their belongings that lined the streets.
This one was our favorite - especially what the teenage daughter added to the bottom. In case you can't read it, it says "You loot We Shoot your head off." It made us laugh pretty hard.
This is one of many pictures I took of houses that were facing the water. If you click on the picture to make it bigger, you'll see that their whole front wall is gone. All the coast line house we drove by were either GONE or missing a wall in the front.
This is the house of the lady (Anise) we went to help. When we drove up, this is what we saw. We actually couldn't tell there was a house there at first.
This is from her yard. You can see that she was pretty close to the water.
The first big job was to clear all the trees and debris from around the house, so we could actually get to the house. Abraham and Nate were up on the roof helping out in this picture.
We got a little scared because they gave Abraham a chainsaw, but he did really well with it. Whew!
Once there was a pathway cleared, we started sorting things into keep and throw-away piles. We started with stuff that had floated outside and then moved to things in the garage and the house. Kim and Brianna got pretty good with the wheelbarrow. These two were also SCARED to DEATH about flesh eating bacteria we'd been warned about.
Susannah and Brittany were REALLY disillusioned with the garage. Anise is to the right of the picture. She is an interior designer and had THOUSANDS of fabric and wallpaper samples all over the place. They all had to be trashed.
Here's a group shot after we finished for the day. The work is definitely not done, but we made some SERIOUS headway. Anise is front and center.

These pictures are from an email we received from our friend Jared. They're from the damage all around the Houston area, but mostly in Galveston, Surfside, and some in downtown.

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