Hey, they found my second floor - one block north

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Frank P
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Hey, they found my second floor - one block north

#1 Postby Frank P » Sun Sep 11, 2005 7:33 pm

I just got a call from my wife, she was walking about a block north of where my house used to be and discover most of my second floor in a little park area.... one bedroom was entirely intact, with roof, siding and my new storm shutters still secured to windows, the other bedroom had its framing and roof but was gutted... the bathroom shower was still there but no toliet, hall and stairs were missing, but the great news we were able to get some very valuable mementoes from both bedrooms...

I'm still in Nashville but will return to Biloxi on Tuesday as we have a relative that is going to let us use one of their two homes that they are not going to use... I'll post some pixs as soon as I get some available... I knew them dang shutters would hold... I plan to go and take them off the walls of the second floor and save them as mementoes for my next house...

Frank P
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#2 Postby NoceoTotus » Mon Sep 12, 2005 9:44 am

Sorry for the "good news...bad news" situation but I am glad you were able to salvage something from it all. Hope things improve for you soon!
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#3 Postby Frank P » Mon Sep 12, 2005 11:10 am

NoceoTotus wrote:Sorry for the "good news...bad news" situation but I am glad you were able to salvage something from it all. Hope things improve for you soon!


thanks, I plan to go back to Biloxi on Tuesday and see what else I can salvage... my griefing for my possessions is about over, I'm sure like everyone else we'll have some good times and bad, but now its time for the slow recovery and the rebuilding process, but its going to be so slow with so many houses destroyed...

Frank P
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#4 Postby jes » Mon Sep 12, 2005 8:46 pm

The Miss. coast is going to be beautiful after it's rebuilt. They were saying on the news tonight that they may get the legislature to approve building the casinos on land next time. And I bet your new house will be the most hurricane proof in the area.
I think your shutter story is hilarious --- they held up fine. You can market them and use your before and after pictures to advertise the indestructable shutters. I'm going to show your plan to a contractor to build for many of the windows on my house when things settle down next winter.
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#5 Postby Frank P » Tue Sep 13, 2005 10:07 pm

Jes, I saw the house today... I picked up a total of 6 shutters and might even find a few more tomorrow... two are still on the house, the second floor... and all the vinyl siding was still on, even most of the shingles, and the wind turbines on the roof.... it was in pretty amazing shape... I think all the metal straps I used kept the second floor together... I just can't figure out how it ended up 300 yards north of my lot... with all the trees and gutted houses it had to pass through... I would love to see a video of that event... one part was battered pretty good, but its actually almost salvagable, except for the fact its not on a foundation... I plan to build my dogs a new dog house with the shutters I pick up this week... should be another interesting day of scavaging tomorrow.... might post some pixs if I get the developed any time soon...
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#6 Postby HDGator » Tue Sep 13, 2005 11:48 pm

Frank,

I admired your work on the shutters and it was with a heavy heart that I read about your loss. It certainly dwarfs what we endured last year in SE Florida. I'm glad to hear that you've recovered some mementoes. Take care, our thoughts and prayers are with you and your neighbors.

Ken
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#7 Postby Frank P » Wed Sep 14, 2005 5:39 am

thanks Ken, every day is just a tiny bit better, now if we could only get some insurance and FEMA attention ....
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#8 Postby Recurve » Wed Sep 14, 2005 11:53 am

Frank, glad to hear you sounding in good spirits despite everything. Amazing to think about how the house came apart so that the second floor stayed somewhat intact.

It's great that you've been able to get back and salvage something. Take care, we all are keeping you and everyone there in our thoughts.

Dave H
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#9 Postby Frank P » Wed Sep 14, 2005 6:41 pm

Thanks Dave, I am finding bits and piece of my stuff scattered in about a 4-5 block radius... today I found one of my west walls, the wall was intact with the vinyl siding still attached... the hurricane straps kept the wall together .... I have collected 7 shutters, another one I can't get to because of the debris stacked on top of it, and another one broken in half... tomorrow will be my last day to scavage, after that I'm done...

what really amazes me is the American people's wonderful and giving response to this tragedy which has been nothing short of miracelous... now if we can get the government at that same level of effort everything will be OK... I have so many stories of what individuals have done on their own, with their own money, to help the coast of MS its almost unbelievable, and makes me so grateful and so proud to be an American....

Frank
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#10 Postby BC » Fri Sep 16, 2005 1:39 pm

Frank,

I'm sorry to hear about your house.. I too lost mine in Pass Christian, and it's been heck just trying to get back to see it sometimes.. I'm glad that you're okay though.. That's the most important thing..

I'm not sure if I've posted this here before or not, but here's a NOAA satellite image of my neighborhood.. My house ended up in my neighbor's yard at the end of the cul-de-sac.. No water lines anywhere, so I'm pretty sure it was over the top of my house (probably 25' above sea level at the peak).. It looks like it's in tact, but that doesn't tell the full story.. Everything inside is tossed about and molded..

I lived 4 blocks from the beach in the Pass and north of the CSX tracks.. I'm staying at my parents in Biloxi.. Thankfully they survived the storm with little damage..

Image
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#11 Postby Frank P » Fri Sep 16, 2005 3:16 pm

BC if feel your pain... the Pass, Bay and Waveland have been totally descimated.... be thankful you have someplace to stay, I have so many friends scrambling to find some place to call home... its really sad.... I just hope FEMA can come in here and set up some trailers asap, but I feel this is going to take a long time... perhaps to long...

good luck
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#12 Postby vbhoutex » Fri Sep 16, 2005 3:27 pm

Incredible stories from both of you. Thanks for sharing.

I praise God that both of you are alive and able to post here again. I continue to pray for you and all those along the GOM who were affected by Katrina that "relief" will continue to come and thay your recovery will be as fast and as painless as possible.
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#13 Postby BC » Fri Sep 16, 2005 3:44 pm

Good luck to you too Frank.. The Coast will rebuild.. We'll be back and better than ever..

If I'd have known I would have been safe, I would have loved to have seen all this stuff first hand.. To see complete houses decimated or moved up a street by 30 foot walls of water would have been amazing to say the least..
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#14 Postby Persepone » Sat Sep 17, 2005 7:10 pm

Frank,

If you have access to a camera, get some pictures of those hurricane shutters. The people who study damage, etc. and who advise about building shutters, using hurricane straps, etc. might be very interested. The ones that stayed in place on the upstaris windows are fascinating.
I think if you contacted the state university they might be very interested in your house, your damage, etc. While that is "cold comfort" in light of having essentially lost everything, perhaps it might help a lot of people in the future.

Glad that you were able to find even a few mementos...
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#15 Postby Frank P » Sat Sep 17, 2005 7:30 pm

When I get to work on Monday I'm going to try and post some pixs that I took of my house, the slab, and the second floor if I get time... I'm using dial up now and that takes forever.... I was so proud of my second floor for putting up such a great fight... also the grand sierra vinyl siding held up well in the wind... only a few pieces were missing and that was from debris impact and not wind... the wind did not blow off any of the siding, or the facia or soffet... I'm sure its all the many hurricane straps that I used in building it that kept it together in its 300 yard voyage to the north... and we've found a lot more mementoes in the second floor and in my back yard than I could have imagined... I thought I would not have anything left of my family history.... but we got a few pixs, trophies, jersies, clothes, pins, christmas ornamants, jewelry, even found my safety deposit box key.... I'm finding parts of my house and garage in about a 400-500 yard radius from my lot... its so crazy....
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#16 Postby Frank P » Sun Oct 02, 2005 5:09 am

Shutter update....

After some serious debris scavaging I've found 16 of the 30 shutters that I just built and installed on my house..... 15 are in good shape, one broke in half.... .... I've had to chain saw through about 5 feet of some serious debris to get to some... I've only been through about 20% of the debris on my block which has not been cleaned up yet..I guess they are trying to figure out what to do with all the homes that have been destroyed... Its amazing what you can find if you look long enough... some of the standing homes has debris 5-6 feet high and goes from the back to the front of the house and then out the windows and doors... its amazing...

My immediate plans is to use the shutters for a nice out door deck when I get my FEMA trailer.... later on I might use them for a dog house or perhaps incorporate them in my new house... not sure..

wonder what treasures I'll find during my scavanger hunt today...
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#17 Postby HDGator » Mon Oct 03, 2005 10:56 pm

Frank I hope you can enjoy a BBQ on that deck.

That wood holds memories that shouldn't be forgotten. A piece of those shutters along with your pictures prior to the storm ought to be passed along. These personal accounts have the greatest impact years from now when the call to prepare seems shallow.

As close as it seems today, years from now the worst will quickly be forgotten. I've seen the short memories in south Fl in the decade following Andrew and hope the same does not follow on the gulf coast.

I hope you can find some minor victories in the scavenger hunts, take care.

Ken
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#18 Postby Frank P » Tue Oct 04, 2005 12:33 pm

I agree with everything you said Ken... thanks

I'm up to 18 shutters now... and finding more STUFF everyday... it amazing what you find if you look hard enough... yesterday I found a glass christmas ornament celebrating the birth of our daughter back in 1977... it was in perfect condition burried under about 5 feet of debris... another keepsake found... makes it even more important now after knowing that it survived Katrina... at one time I didn't think I ever find anything... I'm finding all kinds of mementoes.... and even walls, and kitchen cabinets and couches ... its surreal

I'll keep salvaging until they come and pick up all the debris...

Frank P
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