Compassion For Life/Disaster Relief Servants

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HURRICANE IKE TRIP

The 6 hour trip to the OBI mobile command center in Beaumont, TX took us 8 hours due to the many downed power lines, flooded roads and trees in the road.  37,000 people couldn't go home and 2.2 million people were without power or water. About 1/2 way to our destination, there was no more gas available and we had to use the 5 gal. gas cans that we had filled up prior to leaving. As soon as we arrived we were sent to the mobile kitchen that is able to serve up to 2,000 people a day. We gave food and water for the first responders and rescue workers ranging from TX Game Wardens, The National Guard, local and state police, firefighters, pet rescue workers, etc. We also went into the community to feed victims. We went into the neighborhoods of one of the hardest hit communities, Bridge City, where over 90% of the homes were flooded. We filled out work orders to gut homes, blue tarp roofs and remove fallen trees. One lady told how she barely escaped with her life by climbing out her back window when the water began to rise. It wasn't the water that concerned her, it was all the water moccasins and copperheads that came in with the rising water..."My house is full of snakes!" , she said. Another man told how when he tried to escape out his front door there were alligators coming down his street. In a neighborhood where we gutted out a home, there was a cemetery across the road that had flooded so severely that the graves came up out of the ground and the caskets were floating down the road. The police had taped off the area and collected the corpses that they could find that had fallen out of the caskets. They put them in 4 refrigerated reefer semi trailers. The stench was bad at times. A little old man that had rode out the storm said that he witnessed grave robbers stealing jewelry from the corpses. At times like this it brings out the good in people and worst in others! When we were finally able to get gas, we filled up at a nearby station. An elderly little black lady was behind us and as she approached she asked if she could put her gas cans beside our pump. She told how she rode out Ike with her disabled husband because she couldn't afford to leave again after spending so much of their fixed income to evacuate for Gustav. "We should have stayed for Gustav and left for Ike", she said. We felt led to fill up her gas cans and her car. She cried and cried and gave God the glory for sending us to help her. "God is right on time!", she said.

Downed power lines across the road.

More dangerous falling power lines.

Barb (left) & Paul (right) , CFL Founders, feeding the first responders.

Curt (left), Paul (center) and Shane (right) prepare food for rescue workers and Ike survivors.

Mobile Kitchen staged in the lot with first responders from the TX Game Wardens.

The National Guard was present at the Mobile Kitchen staging area.

Sabre Task Force at the Mobile Kitchen staging area.

CFL Founders, Barb (left) and Paul (right) working with Operation Blessing/Mercy Chefs at their moile kitchen.

Emergency communication workers present.

Emergency crews working long hours to get power restored.

CFL Founder, Paul Testa waiting to go out with OBI work crew to gut a flooded home in Bridge City, TX.

Paul, CFL Founder, (left) with Carl, OBI Foreman, (center) talking with homeowner (right) after removing debris and damaged items from the home.

Mud, sludge and mold remain after removing all the damaged appliances from the kitchen.

Mold line left on homeowners wall as a grim reminder of Hurricane Ike.

CFL Founder, Paul Testa gutting a home.

Home being gutted to aid the homeowner in their rebuilding process.

Bathroom being gutted and cleaned for rebuilding.

Cemetery across the road from the homes that had been gutted. The coffins had come up out of the ground, floated down the streets and some of the caskets were empty.

Gravesites disrupted, overturned, and coffins floating in the road due to the huge storm surge that Ike brought.

Ike desecrated the Hollywood Community Cemetery in Bridge City, TX. Ike pulled coffins up out of the ground and had caskets floating down the streets. Some of the caskets had opened and the corpses were found floating in the streets as well. The police had taped off the area and collected all the corpses that they could find and placed them in 4 refrigerated reefer semi trailers. The stench was bad at times.