Stilt Houses in St. Bernard

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October 18, 2012

by Rev. David Goodine

I have been talking with our work request intake person, Lois Sullivan, over the past month and listening to what she has been telling me about what is happening in and around New Orleans. Since Hurricane Isaac we have had over 100 contacts by individuals looking for help in mucking out houses, rebuilding after the storm, and dealing with the losses from the storm.

We serve a number of families of fishermen who have been affected by the BP Oil Spill in St Bernard Parish. They live in an area that commonly sees storm surge from hurricanes. They usually are ready for it, but when a storm sits on top of us as long as Isaac did, 60 hours as compared to Katrina’s 20 hours, it can cause damage despite all the planning.

Walt told me too of a couple whose house is on stilts – 17 feet off the ground. They lost the last 10 feet of their stairs. Since the couple is in their 80s they have a couple of different ways to get up to the house.

There is a hand pulled elevator, and there is a ladder. Walt told me that the elderly gentleman uses the elevator, but his wife does not trust it – so this 80-odd year old woman climbs the ladder to get into the house! Tough woman.

We would like to get those stairs repaired. Our biggest shortage at the moment is volunteers [it’s always quiet in the Fall]– we continue to celebrate those people who give of their time and talents to come and help people here in the area rebuild their lives.

You all remain a great blessing to the people here. Thank you for everything you all do!

-Pastor Goodine

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