Friday, February 03, 2006

A quick note from the New Orleans branch of the family:

I know that you all must be tiring of Hurricane Talk, but for us that is the daily spin. There has been so little progress and so much suffering that it is hard for people to move on. Many people are still waiting for the insurance adjuster. There are 100,000 insurance disputes in LA alone --- waiting for hearings. Our lot in life is personally much better than most. However, all you have to do is look out the window for a reminder of what a mess the entire Coast is in and how little progress has been made.

We are back to leaking chimney again. It is now tarped. When they have time, they are coming back, reframing the top of the chase, make another new chase cap, etc. The beat goes on. Of course --- we had already repaired the sheet rock from the prior leak.

If you ever wanted lakefront property...this is the time. People are bailing. Selling their gutted homes for whatever they can get and moving on. Eden Isles, Oak Harbor, Palm Lake, etc. all available at give-away prices. Article in the TP this morning about this.

_____ _____’s parents have a FOR SALE sign in front of their home and it looks as though they are selling it "as is". I drive by there frequently as I would like to talk with them but I guess they are settled in Texas.

I talked to 2 more contractors working in the neighborhood about a window estimate. Of course, NOBODY has shown up. Right now I am up to 12 contractors contacted = zip results.

Dad is thinking that he might take a chance and order windows. Then over Mardi Gras he might have weather and time to give this a try..

Fence is coming along. I have a section of lattice to install today and some trim work. I’ll get the bottom panel of boards on after Dad comes home and gives me some directions. Dad has 5 gates to make... a pair of 12’( 2-6’s), a pair of 8’ ( 2- 4’s), and one walker gate. That will take a bit of time. The gate bit is tricky. We have loose dogs running all over the place. I can’t even take Dooley out into the yard without facing a gang of dogs.

Currently, George Bush and his fellow Crooks couldn’t successfully run for dog catcher in this state. Our Rep. Senators and Congressmen have distanced themselves from Bush and openly stated their disagreement with the LACK of help we are receiving from the govt. June 1 is the start of Hurricane Season and everybody is panicking. At the same time, FEMA has wasted so much money it is unreal. They moved in another FEMA trailer across the street --- next to ______’s. This time I have paid very close attention. They have had TWO carpenters there for TWO full days to date (not finished yet) (No wonder I can’t get a damn window)--- building STEPS and railings into the trailer. NO, nobody is handicapped or unhealthy. Apparently, the govt. doesn’t let people use the flip down steps that the rest of the country uses when they travel with their RV. This is so STUPID!!!!!!! No wonder each trailer costs $75,000 when they EVENTUALLY make their appearance. We are all so angry.

BTW...that one carpenter team is only ONE of FIVE FEMA teams that shows up_ in a specific order_ when the trailer is installed: 1.Site survey team, 2.delivery team, delivery install team (concrete blocks and hurricane straps), 3.sewer and electric team,4. carpenters for steps, inspections team... and lastly... 5.a person shows up after all this is completed and tells you how to live in your FEMA trailer and then gives you the keys. YOUR TAX DOLLARS AT WORK. Remember - there are over 300,000 homes gone... and many of those people are wondering where/how they will find $ for housing. Is this the best way to spend $75,000 for 18 months? HELLO?

The new wrinkle is that all the big root balls and stumps that are along the road and blocking important access points... FEMA has been refusing to pay for their removal. Why? Because according to their regulations, EVERY SINGLE STUMP/ROOTBALL (even though they have a satellite view), has to be pre-approved. A team must be sent out to obtain: GPS location, digital photo, estimated size and estimated tonnage submitted to FEMA...prior to removal. So, the of debris that was removed so that we could go forward: will not be reimbursed.

Next wrinkle is that people that want to rebuild -and have the resources- can’t now until after the next hurricane season. The block of time left isn’t long enough to get builder’s insurance and get the job done in the time available.

400 BILLION to rebuild Iraq! Hundreds of thousands of homeless people along the Gulf Coast!

So... other than that, "How did you like the play, Mrs. Lincoln?"

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