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Margie
Senior Storm Chaser


Reged: Fri
Posts: 1191
Loc: Twin Cities
Hello All
      #54853 - Sat Sep 17 2005 02:11 PM

I was never able to get anywhere with more media coverage for non-NOLA areas, in spite of putting all my energy into it the last couple weeks.

Things still pretty bad for my family in MS. Heard word back that between 30 and 40 of the Sheriff's Dept in Jackson County without homes. Hardly any of the city was in a "flood plain" so no one has insurance to rebuild. Inexplicably, FEMA told my brother's wife they wouldn't cover anything to their house, which was flooded with about 5 feet of water. Haven't been able to get to talk to my brother directly for a week, so I don't know any more than that. Last time I talked with him, he had been sick for two days with what sounded like dysentery of typhoid; I asked him to go to the doctor at the jail and they immediately gave him strong antibiotics and took him off his (double) shift. He then had some days off after that, finally, but I believe he's going back on duty tonight.

No trailers there from FEMA for the 90% of the folks in Pascagoula who have no homes to go to. They can't open the schools because of all the people living there that have no place to go. Similar story all along the MS Gulf Coast.

Haven't heard much about the horrible situation in Slidell/St Tammany Parish, St Bernard, or Plaquemines Parishes. Since MS has a better handle on hurricane relief than LA I can only speculate the situation there is more dire.

Even having some problems with my local friends; one told me today that everyone there should just "get over it" and move forward, which pretty much exemplifies the lack of compassion I have been seeing across the board.

I am trying to figure out a way to move forward from this myself, emotionally. I think I'm going to put together a blog with community info on all the affected coastal communities, and try to get the word out for "sister city" adoption, and try to help in that way. The Clinton Foundation, finally, was not interested in putting the community information on their website at this time; they are understaffed and spending all their time dealing with taking in the donations (they've taken in something on the order of 10 million but I have no idea what they plan on doing with it).

I did get an apology from CNN on the air for not having more non-NOLA coverage, and also additional articles on USA Today, which hardly seems like any results, but I guess I'll have to be satisfied with that. At least there were articles on cities like Bayou La Batre, Waveland, Slidell, and D'Iberville. Also some things have been coming from AP writers and picked up, more recently.

There are some ugly party politics going on in MS but I won't go into it. Anyone who's been following MS will know what things I'm referring to.

--------------------
Katrina's Surge: http://www.wunderground.com/hurricane/Katrinas_surge_contents.asp


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CoalCracker
Weather Hobbyist


Reged: Fri
Posts: 96
Loc: Cape Coral, FL
Re: Sister City [Re: Margie]
      #54858 - Sat Sep 17 2005 03:05 PM

I'm originally from northeastern Pennsylvania, the home of anthracite coal (thus my moniker CoalCracker), and wanted to let you know that the town of Duryea in NE PA has adopted Collins, MS as a sister city. They've been in touch with the mayor of Collins and will raise money through local donations and a a block party to be held on 23 October in Duryea. Mayor of Collins will be attending the block party. I've emailed the mayor of Carbondale, my hometown in PA, and asked that the city of Carbondale join Duryea in adopting a MS town. My prayers are with you and your family.

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Margie
Senior Storm Chaser


Reged: Fri
Posts: 1191
Loc: Twin Cities
Re: Sister City [Re: CoalCracker]
      #54859 - Sat Sep 17 2005 03:11 PM

That is great to hear. Thanks for the positive news. The truth is that only by funneling aid directly to cities and counties by the private sector will they really get the support they need.

I have no idea where all the FEMA money is going to go, but so far all we know is to big no-bid contracts to Haliburton subsidiaries and to Army Corps of Engineers. I have seen an article FEMA wasted several million dollars by directing and redirecting trucks of ice and supplies to various cities in the middle section of the country, paid them $600 per truck per dayt to wait for days in some of these places, the trucks never did get orders to go south.

Kissy said she did get some FEMA money for her home, which was not badly damaged. I'll talk to her some more and try to find out more. Apparently FEMA is willing to give money to homes that are not totalled, where they don't have to pay too much, but for some reason they aren't paying out on the ones that have been totaled by surge damage. I'll try to find out more on this.

--------------------
Katrina's Surge: http://www.wunderground.com/hurricane/Katrinas_surge_contents.asp


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kissy
Verified CFHC User


Reged: Sat
Posts: 20
Loc: Pascagoula, MS
Re: Sister City [Re: Margie]
      #54908 - Sun Sep 18 2005 09:07 AM

That sister city thing is an awesome idea! Especially since many stilla ren't getting anything from FEMA! In fact. . . they just set up office in Harrison County last friday!! It's been almost 3 weeks! FEMA is screwy too! There was the rumor of the $2000 that was being handed out. Well I heard that it was just for people who lost thier homes, no big deal, but now I'm hearing from some friends that had less damage than me that they are recieveing it! We didn't get much from fema and not nearly enough to cover the flood damage we received. I called them the other day because there was a couple mistakes on my application and the lady tells me she can't change anything on there. Ok well I then ask about the money I recieved. My insurance guy hasn't shown up yet and I was under the impression that I wouldn't recieve money until after fema found out what the insurance is going to pay. So I ask if I still need to send in my insurance stuff to fema and will they be paying more? She gets all snotty and tells me that she dosen't know why I'm complaining, I should be happy I got anything at all!! (Of course I am happy but geez there was no reason to be rude to me at all!! She obviously has no clue what we are living like down here. Although my home is ok (even though we're walking on concrete, have a hole in the roof, and no fence) It's hard still. We don't have any type of schedule, no school for my daughter, and we have another family living with us that have a 2 yr old. Both myself and the other mom are stay at home mom. It's tough and stressful! I just can't stand people that are mean right now! Wierd thing is that when I run into a local policeman (even if I've never met him) he will stop and chat, nice as can be. But the out of state cops that are here have been RUDE RUDE RUDE!!!

Anyway, I got off supject. I don't know what fema is doing! I do know that I think they are crap! I haven't met one person that has gotten the support from them that they need right now. (My friends that are here that lost EVERYTHING have no insurance and have only recieved $2000 from fema. Of course no word on a trailer yet! Who knows when they'll show up!)
Everything is so frustrating right now!

--------------------

Nothing like fishing in the middle of a hurricane! Katrina '06!


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GLT
Verified CFHC User


Reged: Wed
Posts: 12
Loc: Central FL
Re: Sister City [Re: kissy]
      #54934 - Sun Sep 18 2005 12:45 PM

This is so sad to hear. Makes me think I was real whiny when I complained about a lack of help here after Charlie etc. We were also out of the center of attention, and were mostly left on our own. The fire department did come through telling us to get out (they thought it was going to flood -silly) or they wouldn't help us. Lucky they didn't see me, I would have asked when they had ever helped anybody.

As I remember FEMA was more willing to help you if you had no insurance than if you did. I had no insurance. I registered w/ FEMA by phone after Charlie and a contract worker (teacher or something) showed up after the last hurricane and was only interested in damages from Charlie. I got a check for $900 for my generator + gas (yeah right) and a bunch of forms a few days later. The only other real damages I had was for paying to cut up and haul away trees. I never filled out the forms.

Could ya'll help us help you? By this I mean could you point out who (if anyone yet) is providing REAL help. Salvation Army, Red Cross,etc. That way, we can direct contributions to them. Maybe an address of a local office of any organization we can send funds to. That may help get the help to where it is needed.

It is also good to know what insurance companies are better than others, that may help others in the future.

I though life here was just horrible last year, and I was one on the lucky ones. So I understand at least part of your suffering. It WILL get better. There isn't another alternative.

GLT


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Margie
Senior Storm Chaser


Reged: Fri
Posts: 1191
Loc: Twin Cities
Re: Sister City [Re: GLT]
      #54954 - Sun Sep 18 2005 02:28 PM

Well I haven't heard from my brother in over a week, but from what I understand Red Cross is providing meals in Jackson County. In Harrison County I believe they are also providing shelters, but I don't know how that is different from the schools that the counties are using for shelters.

I don't know what Salvation Army is doing.

I know a lot of church groups from day one have sent and contintue to send clothing and other needed supplies by truck and these go to the largest churches in the county and get sorted out.

My brother Pete that drove my mom back down to her flooded house that my other brother Mark is trying to repair, said he spent part of the day on Friday helping my brother Alex's wife (the Sheriff's Dept brother whose wife also works there, the one that totally lost everything) sorting out L and XL clothes from donations that they could use to give to folks in the Sheriff's Dept. My brother Pete said that he heard that between 30 and 40 of their 100 or so employees lost their homes, vehicles, everything. I think the number in Hancock County may be even more astounding, considering that Waveland and BSL are pretty much gone. And while Biloxi has been on the news a lot, other coastal cities in Harrison County, namely Pass Christian, Long Beach, and Gulfport, were devastated.

So...I'm thinking the best way to donate money might be to specific local organizations that worked as first responders such as the Sheriff's Dept, or to the local city or county directly, but I don't know anything about the mechanics of donating the money. Also I'm hoping sister cities may be able to make a big difference.

Remember when 9/11 occured, Red Cross was going to save part of the money for future disasters? Then public outcry dictated otherwise? Well nothing has been said about it this time, so I would not be surprised if they are raking it in and banking it, and not expanding beyond the current feeding programs or whatever they have set up.

As bad as things are on the MS Gulf Coast, and despite the fact I have immediate family there in precarious circumstatnces, I still worry a lot about the non-NOLA LA parishes, which still remain very much off the radar. MS has at least done somewhat of a job trying to make sure that aid gets to their state. I don't know if LA has it together to do anything beyond the mess they have already made in NOLA.

I think I have to go back to tracking hurricanes now. The reason is that there is no learning experience like watching them form from the beginning and getting that level of detail. If I stay away because I am so distraught about Katrina then I will be missing out on a learning opportunity that won't come back until next June.

edit -- found this not very encouraging story on red cross in sun herald online this am:

http://www.sunherald.com/mld/sunherald/12675763.htm

also this one from Sat, which only talks about Harrison County:

http://www.sunherald.com/mld/sunherald/12675771.htm

Apparently in Jackson County there are no other alternative buildings than the schools where a lot of people in the county are currently living.

--------------------
Katrina's Surge: http://www.wunderground.com/hurricane/Katrinas_surge_contents.asp

Edited by Margie (Sun Sep 18 2005 02:43 PM)


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CoalCracker
Weather Hobbyist


Reged: Fri
Posts: 96
Loc: Cape Coral, FL
Re: Sister City [Re: GLT]
      #54959 - Sun Sep 18 2005 02:46 PM

One of the things our congregation did was get in touch with another church in one of the effected areas, and we've been sending money to them each week. That way ALL the funds almost immediately get into the hands of local people who can disperse it as they see fit. From the beginning of this disaster, it's been local secular and especially faith-based groups that have provided the majority of the money, food, water, clothing, etc. We plan on continuing our support indefinitely. Margie's "Sister City" concept could also include the creation of a "Sister Church" similar to what we've done. Don't want to comment on the government's lackluster performance, but if they can't hire competent people, they should at least hire people with some compassion and patience.

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Margie
Senior Storm Chaser


Reged: Fri
Posts: 1191
Loc: Twin Cities
Re: Sister City [Re: GLT]
      #54973 - Sun Sep 18 2005 05:42 PM

Just heard from my brother briefly.

He said Salvation Army has a couple of distribution points where they are giving out some stuff he didn't know exactly what.

He said the food that Red Cross has been feeding everyone the last three weeks has been the same: a pile of rice, and peaches! That is it. He said the same meal every day, for three weeks. I think the Red Cross is a total sham.

So he isn't taking 'advantage' of the free meals.

He said they are back on their regular shifts but they are shorthanded and that they are slammed on all their shifts as well. People have been turning on things in their houses without having the wriring checked and he said there have been a lot of house fires. Also they've made a lot of arrests after curfew, a lot of DUIs and drug arrests last night.

FEMA says they will only give them $5200 total out of the $15K...their house is a total loss. They are waiting to hear from their insurance company to set up an appointment to look at their house, then I hope they can go back to FEMA and get more like the total amount. They had just refinanced to consolidate some bills and do a KIT remodel, which was just finished this summer, so they pretty much owe a lot on the mortgage. What people are going to end up doing is getting low-interest loans for about double the value of the house, rebuild as cheap as they can, and then try to double-up on the payments...even so they won't be paying off the house until he retires in that scenario.

--------------------
Katrina's Surge: http://www.wunderground.com/hurricane/Katrinas_surge_contents.asp


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GLT
Verified CFHC User


Reged: Wed
Posts: 12
Loc: Central FL
Re: Sister City [Re: Margie]
      #55057 - Mon Sep 19 2005 09:10 AM

Margie - glad you heard from him but...

It appears the Red cross doesn't suit your diet, it also appears you think FEMA (i.e. ME) owes your brother something. "FEMA says they will only give them $5200 total out of the $15K". What 15K? if you have no insurance then YOU took the risk. Period. I did. Otherwise let's complain about the insurance companies.

"So he isn't taking 'advantage' of the free meals." Well then, he must have plenty of food. Sorry that what I paid for isn't "good enough" for him.

Glad to see he is back arresting people (and that is probably necessary), but I think rebuilding would probably be a better use of time, but also more and dirtier work. At least the lawyers will be able to rebuild their houses, which is the ONLY real result. Sorry, but no police officers helped ANYONE here. (They did threaten to arrest my neighbors brother for rebuilding her roof without a permit. IF you can call that help.)

The power companies turned on power to destroyed houses here. It was very dangerous, but most people were happy they did. Some didn't even complain. They skipped a few houses.

I will probably regret this post, but not right now. What has happened there is terrible, and people should help, But NO one is OWED anything.

Let the rants begin, but you weren't here, and I am not there.

GLT

P.S. I'm letting this stand. Regretfully, but one alternative opinion.

Edited by GLT (Mon Sep 19 2005 09:13 AM)


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NewWatcher
Storm Tracker


Reged: Wed
Posts: 387
Loc: Port Orange, FL
Re: Sister City [Re: GLT]
      #55170 - Mon Sep 19 2005 02:19 PM

I have to agree.... FEMA, Red Cross, Salvation Army, United Way... etc.
None of them OWE anything. Whatever help they can give is and should be appreciated. I have a 2% deductible on my insurance just like everyone else, this is the amt. I am expected to pay in the event of a hurricane claim. I dont want to pay it, I wont like paying it if I have to, and IF
FEMA or anyone else wants to walk up and give it to me, hey I'll take it, But i dont think they owe it to me. There isnt an endless abundance of money to go around and there were and will be huge numbers of people who need assistance. we have to spread it a little here and a little there that is just the way it is.

--------------------
Pam in Volusia County

According to Colleen A ... "I AM A HURRICANE FREAK"
2007 Predictions 16/9/6


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Margie
Senior Storm Chaser


Reged: Fri
Posts: 1191
Loc: Twin Cities
Re: Sister City [Re: GLT]
      #55261 - Mon Sep 19 2005 08:40 PM

Well I suggest then you down to the coast and spend some time there.

--------------------
Katrina's Surge: http://www.wunderground.com/hurricane/Katrinas_surge_contents.asp


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Becca102777
Unregistered




Re: Sister City [Re: CoalCracker]
      #57596 - Sun Oct 02 2005 08:36 PM

I am from Duryea, Pennsylvania and am the Secretary on the Adopt-A-Town Committee. We are really proud to help in any way we can. As a minor correction, the event that we are having in called the "Benefest" and it is going to be styled as an "Oktoberfest". As you have NEPA roots, I am sure you are familiar with "Church Picnics", and that seems the best way to describe it. In addition to the benefest, the mayor of Duryea, (who is also my cousin, Keith Moss) has called on the other mayors from the area to help out with the "Mayor's Challenge". The mayors challenge consists of the residents of the different localities dropping pennies into the 10 gallon container of their mayor. We already have several celebrity bar tenders lined up for the event including a Professional Baseball player, members of state government, and Local Television personalities. We have already sent the first of our donations to Collins, Mississippi, in the form of mosquito spray. (We asked the mayor what the town needed most, and he said mosquito spray.) Our plan is to continue helping out our sister city for at least a year, of however long they need it. We have plans to help them with Thanksgiving and Christmas. We are really hoping that the benefest is a sucess, and if the profits are anything like that of a local church picnic, we should have a nice donation for our sisters city. Hang in there everybody. You are in our prayers too!

Rebecca Sammon


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