Wednesday, February 25, 2009

So it's been about 5 1/2 months now since Hurricane Ike. While the island IS making amazing progress towards recovery, I'm constantly reminded of just what a sloooow process that is. As for us personally.....nothing. We are now waiting on insurance to respond to our demand. As I posted previously, they *finally* sent an adjuster out to look at the house, and we've been promised his numbers every day since. Now their latest tactic is to question whether or not our house was eligible to be insured on the ground floor. For those of you who don't have to worry about that stuff, what that means is simply whether or not the house was built before 1973 when the new codes limited building on the ground floor. Because ours was build in the late '60's, it was "Grandfathered" meaning it could be insured on the ground floor. The only way to prove that fact, however, is to go down to the County Courthouse and have them pull the property tax records. They simply go backwards until they find the first year that didn't list an improvement on the property. Then they certify it as the year your house was built. Well, wouldn't you know, that's just not good enough for this insurance company. They want something else proving that it was THIS house that was on the lot in 1973. As you can imagine, no such records exist. As far as I'm concerned, it's just another delay tactic in a long line of acts that border on criminal. Do I get 6 months to pay my premiums? I think not. In the meantime, we're submitting the paperwork fo our mortgage financing and permitting will be in place the minute we are free to demo the carcass. It's hard to believe it will ever actually happen.

So here's a look at how some people are coping (or not) with Ike and their homes:

For Sale by Owner
you see lots of this...For Sale by Owner/As Is. Notice it's still boarded up from the storm. It appears that nothing has been done to it since, and due to its location on Broadway, it most definitely took on water.

These folks opted for demolition. Don't know if they took the buyout, which would mean the lot can never be built on again, or if they have enough insurance to rebuild on the same lot.

Raising Up
I love this....the Raising Up. This costs around $30k For a small house like this is not covered by insurance. I wonder if FEMA contributed?

Waiting on Insurance?
This place looks totally abandoned....much like ours! I assume they, too, are waiting to hear from insurance so they can decide what to do. I wonder where they live right now?

Another FEMA trailer

FEMA trailer
And here are a couple of infamous FEMA trailers. I didn't do a good job of capturing how they really look....just stuck in your front yard, with your old house in the background. FEMA installs them with the steps & porch, and the connection to utilities, which consists of a very visible sewer pipe running across your yard and connecting to the cleanout. Definitely not meant to be pleasing to the eye...just a down-to-basic place to lay your head. These people have been living in hotels for 5 months while waiting on the trailers, which first appeared a couple of weeks ago.

dead trees
After being in Houston last weekend, I've finally faced reality. Spring has sprung here on the Gulf Coast and any trees that still look like this (which is 95% of the trees on the island, excluding palms) have a very unsure future. Live Oaks are supposed to be covered in bright green leaves this time of year, already providing shade. Our friends in NOLA say it takes 3 years before you know for sure their fate...they *may* come back, but not until then. I just wonder how many of them will be here once June 1st rolls around. Hurricane season makes people very nervous about possibly dead trees. And I can't imagine the whole island looking like winter for 3 years!!

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