Katrina Cleanup in Slidell
I'm actually writing this a week or so after the fact. I wish I hadn't of waited, but I've been so busy with life, school, Rita, work and family.
12 of over 4,000 members of my church piled in a 12 passenger van around 7pm Friday night. We drove to Slidell Louisiana in good time, making it there by 2:30am. There were already hundreds of volunteers there from Houston and the surrounding areas camped out in tents and RV's outside one of our church buildings in Slidell. It was a miserable night. If I got 2 hours sleep I was lucky. I probably drifted off by 3:30am and we arose at 6:00am.
Our team of 12 received our orders in the morning after a breakfast of bagels and cereal. We were given about 5 names of families in need of help. If they were home we were to ask if we could help. If no one was home we'd move on to the next house. On our 3rd try (i think) we found David Paige. He and his wife had severe damage to their home. They were hit by a 7 foot storm surge and their house was then under 3 feet of water for over a week.
We quickly went to work, removing furniture, clothes, and other items that were ruined. We removed all the sheet rock in their home from about waist height down (approx 4ft high). We cut up and removed LARGE trees that had fallen in their front yard. This home wasn't in a neighborhood, I'd guess they had about an acre of land.
By noon we were really slowing down. I'd probably already had a gallon of water and was working on my gallon of Gatorade. The hours from noon to 3pm were the most difficult. The sun was just too much. I had to rest every 30 to 40 minutes.
By 4:00pm or 5:00pm that evening we had removed most of the sheet rock and insulation from the home that was damaged by mold, removed one large tree, and restored some hope to that poor family.