Hurricane Dolly-Part 2 ~ South Texas 2008
Once the water began to receded, we realized just how devastated we had become by the whole ordeal. Just opening that barn door seemed impossible! I would finish cleaning up after breakfast and find Fred out walking the entire area in search of his glasses and hearing aid that had slipped out his pocket…I told him it would be all right, FEMA would help us and replace his things once they finally declared the area a disaster.
Part of that was true, the area was declared a disaster but he was never interviewed and just last month he replaced his glasses…the hearing aid was never seen again but we managed to secure a new one in McAllen several weeks later through the Starkey Foundation-FEMA gave him nothing. I received one small check to help relocate and nothing more.
The clean up repairs and the difficult task of relocating was on us and took nearly 3 months to accomplish. During those 3 months I could not believe what was now going on at the fairgrounds.
Here’s the pictures:
We weren’t prepared for this, no one said anything to us about what was happening and what we should expect. It was rumored the debris would be chipped.
These huge piles of debris were accumulating throughout the fairgrounds. The people who said it would be chipped was not a reliable source for information. So even though these huge trucks were coming in and the dumping looking like something from war of the worlds, we just weren’t worried about it because we didn’t know what they had planned and no one spoke to us about it although we were in plain sight; it obvious there were people living on the property!
As if we hadn’t been through enough, the nightmare began…
There were no fire breaks cut and this was within 100 feet of the barn! We were in shock!
Not only could we smell smoke, everything stunk from the smoke…Next order of business was to put the fires out and took several phone calls but finally a man with OSHA told me what to do so within hours the burning was stopped and the fires smoldering. We stepped up our pace and worked hard day and night to get out. It was just the two of us t accomplish this great task. Fred welding and making repairs and I was tending to all the animals. The brackish water had rusted everything and repairs to the transport cages were big! We also had the task of finding another location and to make sure whatever small city we would be located in would be agreeable with us moving in.
Finally moving the animals and ourselves to Edinburg. We just knew this location was just perfect and began preparing the property to receive the animals. The horses had a field day eating the over grown grass. We had planned on staying in the trailer until we could catch a breath and move in. Thanksgiving day we took the time to move into the house and paused to take a break. I served our dinner on a plastic table both grateful and thankful we had finally found a location where we were told our use would be permitted that had a nice home. There wasn’t a water line on the walls, this home and property would do just fine if a hurricane hit. We talked into the night about how we could get the best use out of the property and be back in business…we didn’t know what was ahead, we never would have come here had we known!
The hurricane was bad, the clean up and packing tiring and the fires being shocking; the legal battle in Edinburg and the search for another location seemed impossible! We wouldn’t make the same mistake twice and hopeful we will be able to find another location soon!
After thought-the original posts for part I and 2 were written in 2009 a little more than a year following Hurricane Dolly. The Chief of police decided he was afraid of caged animals-what a woose…I found property over 1,000 miles northeast of south Texas and consulted with Attorney James Finstrom, previous DA for the county, about the animals and the property I had located. He said that he spoke with the county commissioners and that there wouldn’t be any problem there; they liked animals in Marion County and proved to be further from the truth!!!
Looking back, I believe that the animals would have been better off had we not done such a great job-ALL survived a hurricane but not all would survive Marion County, Texas.
Disclaimer connected to this blog…Things said are of my opinion and the opinions of others…Stay tuned -B