The Lost Have Been Found!

posted September 7, 2005 by Jenn

JennMy family kicks so much ass.

After three days of searching and asking around, the convoy of cousins actually FOUND the last family mentioned in my previous post! I first got the news Tuesday morning and got details about it Tuesday evening.

Early last week, the area they lived in, back in the woods and off the main roads, ended up not too badly torn up by the hurricane. The worst of it was localized flooding and really really soggy dirt (read: mud) roads. However, access to the more metropolitan areas was blocked with downed trees and lines and debris. That family did have two cell phones in the house, since phone service doesn't reach them, but neither would get a call through shortly after the hurricane and then neither had any charge, since there was no power to recharge them with. That's why none who tried calling could reach them and they couldn't reach us.

They had a simply built wooden one story house with a roof attic along with a small trailer. The house rested in a small valley between two hills, so they, along with their neighbors, were left with about a foot of water in the house and an overturned trailer. They had moved into the attic. They waited for some help until Friday, then loaded up into the truck. My cousin dropped off wife and child with a neighbor on higher ground, took with him a 2 liter soda bottle of water and a bag of corn chips, and left to try and get out to town. No one over there had any idea Gulfport was gone. When he found Gulfport was gone, he tried to head for family in Mobile using the roundabout and backroads, since most roads leading there were impassable. Unfortunately, the truck was already low on gas and the few gas stations out there were either out of power or out of gas, so the truck died on the side of the road.

The Convoy managed to get into the area they lived in on Friday, found they had missed them by day and started backtracking. Everybody knowsn everybody in that area, so they asked around and managed to locate wife and child by Saturday evening. That neighbor let them use their home as a staging ground to search for the now missing cousin. On Monday night, they found his truck by the road and him just past the tree line in the woods, roasting a squirrel (which, I am told, tastes like gamey chicken).

So now, all three of them are safe and staying with my aunt in Montgomery. Much of the convoy will be going home on Wednesday but a couple of cars will stay to load up with supplies again and head back down later this week. As of Monday, they still hadn't seen any real aid getting to those people. Some of the roads had been partially cleared but when there's no gas, that doesn't make much difference.

I got to talk with my cousin and I asked about the other people left behind out there. He told me I needn't worry. He said the region he's in is a forgotten community (except when it comes to paying taxes of course) and it has a history of looking after itself well enough when disaster strikes and this, obviously, wasn't be the first major hurricane most of them have been through. So I'm completely at ease. My family's okay. The house might have to be rebuilt, depending on how much wood rot there is afterwards, but that's okay. I know our folks from Mobile and Montgomery will help with that. I also know this is going to be one of the top billing Stories To Be Told at our next family reunion.