Dear Debbie

We were watching the weather station at home last night like it was a prime time show.  I went to work shortly after and what was on the TV? A baseball game.  I suggested we keep an eye on the weather, in keeping with the flooded roads I’d had to avoid on the way and the tree limbs scattered all over the neighbor’s yard. So we did watch the radar reports of  the storm bands as they swirled around Debbie and up our coast – under a coastal flood watch, a tornado watch, and a severe thunderstorm watch all at once.  How exciting.  And the setting for this drama?  A smallish frame house that sits at the very edge of a coastal bayou surrounded by huge old trees. This place was built way before safety codes were in place and is so close to the water that normal tides occassionally go under the house.  It has flooded a couple of times in the past. We were being warned of tides 2-4 feet higher than normal.

Is it any wonder that when I finally got my quadriplegic client put to bed and laid myself down it was a little hard to drop off to sleep? My little cot is right under a window on the bayou side of the house and everytime I’d hear a crash in the wind I’d shine the flashlight out there to see what it was. The window awnings were flapping, the boat cover ripped and blew off, the mangroves were slapping the house and the wind was roaring constantly and roaring even louder as each storm band went over us. It was creepy. Tons of rain. Things that had floated under the house were bumping and knocking on the floor as the waves washed under.  It could have been a hurricane on top of us as far as I was concerned.

But since there was really nothing I could do about it, except stare at the ceiling with my flashlight in hand and shoes on, I did doze off for about 30 minutes.  And here is the dream I had.   I was looking under my bed, watching the tide rise into the house and through a hole in the floor I saw a piece of fabric which I pulled on – it was a shirt on a person, a drowning person. Actually there were two people and I pulled them up into the house and one of them got into my bed. The other one seemed dead and I decided I had to wake up my client and tell her I was going to call 911.  I went into her room and she was no longer there! Her house had become full of elderly people and surgical patients with nurses taking care of them. Thank goodness I only had to endure this for half an hour – I’m just giving you the bare bones account.

So it was a very high tide. About 4:30 am I started to hear the little sounds like water slapping on the bottom of a boat, coming from the floor of our “house”boat. Thankfully it stayed dry on our side of the floor.  For those of you who have seen this property – the tide was two feet above the retaining wall, level with the front deck, and probably 15 feet up into the yard. 

It continued to rain this morning, and the wind is still here this afternoon although it is milder. We have seen a glimpse of the sun also. This is what it looked like when I left this afternoon.



flooded courtyard on side of house away from bayou




umbrella and chair on a dock that can no longer be seen…




yew trees pretty much destroyed in this yard




walkway to boat now underwater




one side of boulevard impassable




note the high water mark on house 



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