Richard and Diane Kennedy
The Kennedy family after a number of years had recently finished their house when the hurricane struck. These are Diane’s words about their experience
“We all decided to stay home for the hurricane because we’ve never had water where we live. Our power went out at 5:30am on August 29, 2005, it was down hill from there…Down-stairs was completely submerged. The next thing we knew the water was coming in up-stairs. The wind and rain were really loud… Once the windows broke we had fish swimming in our house…the water kept coming in higher and higher. We could not save anything. We were in the hallway getting ready to climb into the attic when Richard said, “Wait.” He realized the water was starting to go out…When the water was finally out we had 3 to 4 inches of mud in the house…that night we all slept in wet beds right where they were tossed and landed…There was no way out. We stayed for three days until our daughters hired an 18-wheeler truck with a flatbed and sent us a truck with gas tanks in the back filled with gas. We left on the fourth day. Everything in our town was destroyed.”
Because of back injury it was hard for Richard to carry sheet rock to the second floor of their house and to sheet rock ceilings — so this was one of our tasks. They also owned a larger house trailer that they rented that need to be gutted. The people who had rented the trailer left and never returned. There was very little that could be salvaged. It was heart wrenching to clean the child’s room that was full of matchbox cars. I thought of my grand nephew who has a large collection of matchbox cars and how he would have felt to have to leave them behind. We cleared everything except the refrigerator that was too wide to be taken out of the door to the trailer with out removing its door. This refrigerator had been tied shut since the hurricane and none of us wanted to find out what science experiments it contained.