The Clampets survive a hurricane

So….on the 5th anniversary week of Hurricane Katrina I thought I’d write a little about my experience living through it.

The day before it was supposed to make landfall we rolled out in the early morning hours. And when I say we I mean WE. Our cast of characters included in our caravan… In the lead car was my mom, dad, & 78 y/o grandma with a bad bladder & hip, next we have my brother, his wife, his 3 y/o son, & 10 week old daughter, and 2 dogs, then we had his mother in law with her husband, 13 y/o daughter & 3 week old daughter, then we had me, my sister, & my daughter who was 6. (My husband was offshore in another country & could not come home). Also in another caravan we had about 8 more family & friends including another 3 week old who was on an apnea monitor for SIDS & a 3 month old & 2 more dogs & a cat. Yes….we were the Clampets take a vacation.

So….our caravan goes from Se La all the way to El Dorado Ark only touching an interstate somewhere past Monroe La. Oh my freaking lord we went through some pig trails.

Now my sister who is not a morning person decides to nap. Fine….good thing for you to be doing. So she gets her pillow then decides the sun is to bright so she rolls up her blanket into the window. Hello?? I can’t freaking see out my front passenger window….so I snatch it down which ensues a fight. (TOUGH) So then she complains about my music choices. (Hello….we are in the backwoods…be happy its not the theme song from Deliverance) And what is wrong with Def Leopard???

So….after getting turned around a few thousand times my brother in his infinite wisdom decides to take over as point car. He takes us to a freaking park…..along a marina…& finally back to the main highway where my dad overtakes him & regains lead. (My dad lived in El Dorado my brother never has)

We finally arrive at the hotel…..now….before you start thinking about nice hotels w/ restaurants STOP. Because it was about 2 steps up from the kind of hotel that rents rooms by the hour. No restaurant but a Huttle House (like a Waffle House) across the street. But there was a pool thank you Lord. A nice pool. And they had Internet & set up a computer for the guests to use for free which was very kind of them.

Oh yea….I forgot to mention…..we could only get 3 rooms. Yep….you do the math.

The reason we went there is we have family in El Dorado. Now….we go to visit my grandma’s sister who is 80ish & has no central air. But she has tv. The other forms of entertainment in El Dorado is the Walmart & pizza hut type place. That is all.

So we came back home on Tuesday. Drove all day to get back. My dad had went back on Monday w/ the guys to check on our homes. All homes were standing but had a lot of trees down. I had no power & no generator so my sister & I stayed at my parents. Luckily they had a window unit in the master bedroom so we all slept in there. It was not a bad experience. My sister & I already knew how to cook some things on the propane burner so we cooked. We spent a lot of time outside playing cards or dice in the evenings. For lunch we had MREs. We’d go to the ballpark & get water & MREs from the National Guard. They were very nice men who we met. Always smiling with the kids & giving them candy.

When Walmart opened that was an experience. First waiting in line for an hour, only being let in 10 at a time for 20 min. (You really didn’t need long as there was hardly anything there) and having the National Guard standing there armed with machine guns. Waiting in your cars for an hour or longer to get gas. Oh boy….the things I never imagined I’d see.

How was your experience?

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Casandra Leimbach
    Aug 30, 2010 @ 20:32:42

    Well our story begins with hitting the road the day before katrina hit our area. I was just released from the hospital with a 3 day old baby! I got a call from my mom about 5 sunday morning to pack my stuff she was coming to get us! So I did, I packed everything I could get into my car. Which was all of our stuff and 2 cats. We headed up to alabama and stayed with my uncles' wife's sister. And stayed about 2 days, that arrangement was NOT working out. So we drove back to picayune, ms( mind you my car kept braking down the whole way back!!!!) and stayed at hubby's moms house which had no power, but we could not get to the apartment inwhich we were living at the time. So that night with a week old baby, I slept in my car with air on so the baby would not overheat! By the grace of the Lord did I make it through the night with about less than 1/4 tank of gas left and no gas in picayune to refuel! By morning we his mom drove us up to Arkansas where we once again spent a night and then caught a train the next morning. Our train was a 2 day ordeal!! Going all the way up to Denver and back down to New Mexico where my cousin met us and we got settle in for the next month and a half. Once things got back to normal in picayune we flew home. Only to find our apt complex in ruins from a tornado that touched down there! Once again by the grace of the Lord our particular building was the ONLY building not damaged by the storm. I was so thankful. And glad to finally be home.

    Reply

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