Picking up the Pieces after Hurricane Ike

This post is going to sound like I am all brave and on top of the situation, but I assure you I AM NOT.  LilSis has been manning the helm while BigSis has been holding down the home port, preparing supper meals for us and caring for my two sons (in addition to her large family).  Without them, I would be a pile of useless matter.

And that is no lie.

So, would you like to know a capsule version of what has happened since I left you Saturday?

Of course, LilSis and I made it safe to a South Louisiana town that did not flood and to the home of BigSis Saturday night.

Sunday morning, the water was still too deep on parts of the highway for trucks to travel down the bayou, so we imposed on my good friend Capt. Droopy to take us by boat to see what we could see.    We traveled about 20 miles by boat to get to my bayou town.

At one point, we lost our minds and put LilSis at the wheel.

As we traveled through the Mandalay Wildlife Refuge, the smell of hurricane-stricken marsh and swamp engulfed us.  However, the area looked pretty good after having been through two bouts of hurricane-strength winds in the past two weeks.

The closer we got to the canal and then to civilization, the more things changed.  It became obvious very quickly that my bayou had taken it on the chin–again.

And here is the first place I wanted to see . . .

…the cypress house about 30 hours after Hurricane Ike made landfall in Texas.

LilSis waded bravely through the water to take a look inside.

There was an oily mud all over the floors,

the water appeared to have come up about 8 inches in the kitchen and

and about ten inches in the bathroom.  The floors definitely aren’t level.

The utility room basically blew down, where someone helped themselves to our gasoline cans and six-foot ladder.  The washer and dryer took on a few feet of water–see the water line on dryer?

The back door neighbors have it pretty bad . . .

Look closely and you will see the water still standing.

Most of Monday was spent mucking out mud with a squeegee . . .

and sweeping out water we hosed onto the floor to loosen the mud that had already dried. LilSis got the living room floor looking pretty good.

Today, LilSis cut up a foam mattress that had somehow slid onto the floor and soak up a TON of water, while I hauled the pieces to the roadside.

My good friend DB and her daddy came from Mississippi with their generator and wet vac, which really helped suck up the mud and water from the front bedroom.  Until that point, we had no power at all.  Thank goodness we had a “cool” front and the north wind had been keeping us from baking.

I can sit here and tell you that it could have been a whole lot worse, but I don’t think I have to tell you how much it crushed me to see the past six months of my hard work (and that of those who helped) be destroyed.  The original wood floors held up well.  However, the rest of the house did not do so well.  The new plywood is buckling and the tiles are coming off.

Today was better for me emotionally than yesterday, and tomorrow will be better yet.  Thanks to all of you again for your thoughts, prayers, encouragement.


My daughter and son-in-law live a little further north, and while they suffered power outages, they are back at work and school.  My two oldest boys pretty much live on their tug boats now and they are both at work and fine.  The Captain has been back on his boat since last Thursday and is working right along, too.

And today we finally found . . . . . . .

Bayou Fabio alive and well and none the worse for the wear from riding out TWO MAJOR HURRICANES!!!  He reminded us of Tom Hanks in “Castaway”.  His story will be another post for another day.  (Remember, last time I heard from him he was in the middle of a hurricane . . . .)

My personal home took on more water and when I went inside it today, mold and fungi were already growing on all the furniture.  I don’t think we can salvage much besides our clothes . . . . that’s all I can say right now.

Don’t know when I’m going home,


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  1. I know it must be very discouraging having to do this once again. With the physical help of your friends and family, and the prayers from your Blog readers, you’ll bounce back soon. Hey, you’ve got to! The Specks will be in Decade soon. Ike may have already pushed those fish in! I’m itchin’ to go fishin’, but I’ll have to wait for the insurance adjuster to show up.

    We finally got a roofer over to give us an estimate…..$14,120.40! That’s 4k less than we paid for our first house!

    Hang in there! We’ll send you a daily dose of encouragement as well as our prayers. (Won’t we readers?)

  2. I was so happy to see that you had posted.

    My prayers and thoughts will continue for your family and all of our friends in south Louisiana and Texas.

  3. I’m so sorry to see these pictures. Prayers and thoughts are with you! I know you hate to go through all of this again. It must feel like a rerun.

  4. I’m so sorry, BW. All your hard work and your home ravaged again. Those of us who have not worn your shoes will never understand the depth of heartache, but we’re here to listen.

  5. Today was day 3 of cleanup, and I am starting to see a little light at the end of this tunnel.

    Thanks, Stephanie, for the reassurance. I’m not out of the woods yet. We finally got to take a few things out of my “home” that I don’t want eaten up by mold and mildew before the adjusters come. There is still much more to get, though.

    To each one of you, I don’t deserve such kindness and friendship as each one of you has offered me. Many thanks.

    There are, of course, some good stories developing during all this madness, which we will share with you when we have a little more free time.

    Until then, I remain your
    Bayou Woman

    Lil Sis is still here keeping me in line. Big Sis is running errands, shopping, and cooking and child care. They have been my strength and I do so appreciate them.

  6. It kills me not being able to come help. Soon as my bum wing heals I’ll be down. Getting a little cabin fever here.

  7. Can’t wait to hear those stories! You always do a great job of finding the silver linings on all of the muddy clouds! And I must say, Uncle RenRed’s “bum wing” statement still has me laughing! I feel badly that I can’t be down there helping too, but I’ll keep doing what I can to find you things you need! Love you muchly, Bayou Mommer! 🙂

  8. Rach – just getting home at the end of another mucky day, and your words make me smile! You are just the best daughter EVER!!!!! I love you to pieces.

    And everyone else – sorry for getting so mushy! Will try to make a new post tonight . . . with pics of course!

    Love you all, and I am getting better with each day that passes. People are stepping up to help out and it really lightens my spirit!

  9. ((((((((BW))))))))) Soooo very glad you posted. Sorry for the flood, but very glad your back home getting started. Im sooo happy your sis’s have your back, and we will continue trying to lift your spirits from our end. Hang in there BW!!!
    btw…thanks for letting us know Bayou Fabio was ok…was a tad bit worried about the poor guy!

  10. Just wanted to let you know that all your comments mean so much to BW. It has been a hard week, but we have had help from several people to lighten the load. Please continue to lift BW and her family up in prayer, and continue to comment. She looks forward to them at the end of a long day.

    We were worried about Bayou Fabio, too, since we lost cell phone contact and didn’t see him for several days. When BW told him she posted his picture, he was a little upset because he hasn’t shaved and his hair wasn’t combed!

  11. For the first time since Ike I cried. I am just inland from high island texas, the water stopped about a mile from my home. I am so sorry you are having to do this again. I have noted the same determined spirit and just get it done attitude here as well. Good luck to you!

  12. Kat, I’m sorry I made you cry, but I am so glad your home did not flood. I would not wish such a thing on my worst enemy–especially have two properties to clean up this time. Thaks for stopping by, and please come back often. Things should be getting back to normal on bayou life as soon as my internet is restored!!!