Hurricake Ike – Our Home Part 2

Ideally, when cutting out paneling or sheetrock/drywall, you would go up the wall a few feet and make it look presentable by wainscoting.  However, we are not making long-lasting repairs to our home.  WHY NOT? you might be wondering.  And I’m wondering if it’s time to blog you down in all the details as to why not?

After Hurricane Rita flooded thousands of homes in the coastal parishes and New Orleans, the government instituted a rebuilding grant program to help bring people back home.  Called The Road Home, the program was intended to bridge the gap between what insurance paid and what it would take to bring your house to pre-storm conditions.

But because we live in a “repetitive loss” community, our parish had already developed stiffer building requirements for hurricane-force winds and elevation requirements to avoid flooding.

Now here’s the hitch:  If the damage to your home was more than 50% of the pre-storm value, then the parish would not “permit” you to repair your home without elevating.  FEMA adjusters estimated our damages more than 50%—they estimated it at a TOTAL LOSS.  Remember, in order to get parish permits to repair, we would have to elevate 12 feet.


If you look at the photo, we have two very old mobile homes connected by a “stick-built family room” covered in two separate roof levels.  Elevating this structure would not be cost effective–especially when we’ve been planning to build for four years now.  We felt it would be throwing “good money after bad”.

Immediately after Rita, we took out all the carpeting, sanitized everything, and basically did the bare minimum in order to move back home.  We had been living in a tiny apartment in a city 50 minutes away, driving down every day.  After six weeks of that, we were more than ready to be home.

Now, after flooding for Ike, we are doing the same–using as little of our financial resources as possible in order to make our old home “livable”.  That means, we will live on bare floors and replace as little as possible of our lost furniture.

We have carried a small flood insurance policy since the 2005 season, so with the insurance reimbursement and a small elevation grant from The Road Home program, we think we will be able to get started building a house on our land to the parish code requirement–12 feet off the ground.  With the added cost of elevation and new hurricane-wind requirements, the cost of building here has risen substantially; therefore, we will be doing as much of the work and using as much volunteer labor as possible.

Staying at Camp Dularge the past two months has been a blessing.  However, it is scheduled to be elevated around December 15th, meaning we have to move back to our old home as soon as we can.


BB’s help brought us one step closer to that goal.  Look!  No more waterline!  Thank you, BB, because I can walk in there now without the smell reminding me of the nasty flood waters invading my home. BB earned her badge and is now the newest member of WATS (Women Armed with ToolS)

Now, who would like to come down and help me go through all my “junk” and get rid of unnecessary items?  And who would like to come down and help me organize the “junk” I just can’t get rid of?  Does anyone know of a good way to clean mold out of window units?

COMING SOON:  Camp Dularge gets elevated 8 feet.

With my sights set on home, I remain your hard-working

Bayou Woman

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  1. I’ll be down, right after I get rid of my junk and unnecessary items! I might add, I’ve put it off for 30 yrs! Happy Thanksgiving!

  2. My sister – visiting this week and looking over my shoulder, says you need to amend WATS to WATTS – Women Armed with Trucks and ToolS – it’s more POWERFUL – watts – powersful!!!! HA HA hAHAHAHAHAH……
    questions: I look forward to watching the house go up, but where will you live mean time?
    Also, what about the cypress cottage? Will it have to go up?

  3. Your sister is just as hilarious as you are!!! Funny because that was BB’s truck in the photos, and I have my own Chevy pickup, too!

    Ok, let me clear this up for you. Camp Dularge aka Cypress Cottage has been scheduled to go up since before Ike came and flooded it. So, it will be going up Dec. 15th–that is why we have to make old home livable and will shortly be moving back down there (four miles). And that is where we will live (assuming we don’t get sick from mold) until the new house is built, farther back on the same property as old home.

    All clear now?

    More POWER to the WATTS!!!!

  4. For getting the mold out of window units, (i am assuming you mean air conditioners) try oven cleaner. take the unit outside, slide it out of the casing, spray with the cleaner, let set for a little bit, then rinmse well with a water hose. hope that helps.

  5. WATTS, I love it! You know why? Our new vehicle just may be a truck!

    BW, I’d probably be more help going through your junk than helping with the move. You know how ruthless I can be!