Real People Hurricane Relief

Real People Relief is for individuals, families and groups who wish to help a person or family directly, with no "middle man" "Be The Change" Ghandi "I pray that I may not be tempted, by indifference or selfishness to withhold from others the help I have received." Author Unknown to me

Friday, January 05, 2007

Terry G

Terry & Hamilton G

Email: terry_guenard@co.hancock.ms.us

Reside: - Waveland MS

Situation: My husband and I stayed home in Waveland for Hurricane Katrina. We felt we were in a safe place, is the reason we stayed. We were supposed to have my mother and a couple from our Church stay with us, but they changed their minds on Sunday (thank goodness) and stayed elsewhere. I was drinking coffee very early Monday morning (Aug.29th) and looking out the window at the wind, as it was unbelievable.

All of a sudden I saw water coming down the road very fast. I yelled at my husband that water was coming down the road, and we frantically started putting things up off the floor, up on the snack bar. I kept running to the window to look out, and I couldn't believe what I saw, 3 to 4 feet of water all around our house, but no water in the house.
We just finished a 3 year project building our home ourselves, and finished it only months before the storm. He ran into the hallway and pulled down the attic ladder. I (who suffers with claustrophobia) said no way-I can't go in the attic.
He yelled at me to get away from the back door, as it started to bulge in around the bottom half. Just as I ran into the hall, the back door blew off completely and the water (which was about 4 to 5 feet now) slammed into the house, knocking the refrigerator (full of food) across the room like it was a toothpick.
As I was running up the attic ladder the water was hitting me in the back. I couldn't believe my eyes as we got up in the attic, the water was already in the opening of the attic and coming in. The sounds of our entire home coming apart was a sound I will never forget.
We could hear the kitchen cabinets falling down with all the dishes, and all the shelves tearing away from the walls. Everything was floating by, as we were now in over 8 feet of water and black mud. I started to cry uncontrollably and we started to pray. We were trapped in, and the water was still coming. The sounds of the wind and trees falling, and large objects hitting the house, I just knew the house was going to collapse on us. I prayed with all my heart and soul for God to be with us, and help protect us, and save us from drowning.
I wanted to get out of the attic so bad, but knew we could not. This lasted 5 to 6 hours before the water even started to go down. By the Grace of God we did not drown and the house did not collapse.It took 20 minutes to crawl out of our home over piles of stuff covered with mud - we didn't even know what we were crawling over. I didn't even have any shoes on when I ran up to the attic.
So, coming down I realized I could not walk through 2 feet of mud, glass, broken everything. I tied cloths around my feet and got outside. We just stood there looking around, but the wind was still so strong it would knock you down.
Then came the hardest part, trying to survive outside with no water, no food, no clothes, no place to lay down, and it was going to be dark soon. My husband said we had to go back in the attic when it got dark, because there was no other place, and I said I cannot go back in the attic.
I laid outside in the driveway, with complete darkness everywhere. No sounds, no bugs, no crickets, no birds, no sound at all from anywhere. I thought everybody has to know this happened, and someone has to be coming soon. Both our cars were gone, everything was gone, and nobody came.
Day after day in 100 degrees, nobody came, and we couldn't get out. We caught rainwater in anything we could find to drink. We went to the bathroom in the woods, and we were both full of sweat and mud from head to toe. After about 6 days, a friend of ours walked from Highway 90 down Waveland Avenue to our home (about ¼ of a mile). It took her almost 2 hours to walk that far, but she did because she knew we stayed home. She brought 4 bottles of water and some potato chips with her. We didn't even say hello, just grabbed the water from her and drank it in 5 seconds.
After another week, and after they cleared the road enough to get 4 wheelers in, we had other friends show up with ice chest, water and some food. The heat was unbearable at that time.We couldn't even try to save anything, as we had no running water, and no way to try to clean off anything. Everything was caked with black mud all over it, and then mold on top of that. The odor was unbearable.
Eventually some people came to help start pulling things out of the house. This was probably 2 to 3 months afterwards, and nothing could be saved. It was heartbreaking to see everything you ever owned thrown out in a pile, and the house torn apart, and the cars gone. We had a studio my husband built behind our house, and it was his art studio. He lost all his tools, which took a lifetime to acquire, and the studio (workshop) had 9 feet of water and mud.
We got a FEMA trailer, and it was put in our driveway. We are still in a FEMA trailer. We got help to gut our home, but the work is never ending it seems. We tried to do all the work ourselves, but it has been so hard. My husband was sick to his stomach every time we started working on the house, as we were tearing down everything that was left, everything he had just finished building with love and care. It just about killed him, and depression has seemed to take him over.
We have tried to get more help. We only want to get our home back livable.We just want some type of normal. My work place was destroyed also, so everything in our lives has changed completely. After we gutted our home, we had some help from a Lutheran Church in Texas. They brought us some sheetrock, and help put most of it up, but not all of it. We still have to put in a bathtub and finish the sheetrock in the bathroom. But, we ran out of money. We need sheetrock finishing/taping, painting, bathroom sinks and cabinets, floor molding, and kitchen cabinets. I believe that would get most of our home back in some type of order (and livable).
We also had a wood privacy fence around our home that my husband put up by himself one board at a time, and it took him months. The fence was all broken and on the ground, and we took it apart piece by piece, and took out the nails, and stacked the wood trying to save what pieces we could.
Any help you could give us to get our home livable, we would appreciate more than you will ever know. It is just me and my husband, as our son is in college in Indiana.

Help received so far: FEMA, Foodstamps, (SBA turned us down), Lutheran Church of the Pines-Waveland, Salvation Army

Any help you could give us to help us get our home back livable, would be a BLESSING to us. We just want to have our home again and be able to live in it.

Thanks be to people who care about and help people they don’t even know

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