Tail end of Ida – Connecticut

After getting back to Ventura from Louisiana, FEMA immediately re-deployed just me to Connecticut. Ida had continued up the eastern seaboard with heavy flooding, hit NY state and city with flooding before dying out in the Atlantic. Western CT is basically a commuter suburb of New York city I discovered.

We worked out of the Lyme town hall.

As a former Minnesota boy, I loved being back to autumn foliage. This was behind the town hall.

Basically, our team saw very little damage and wondered why the State even qualified for FEMA assistance. But all that is way above our pay grade. I was there for only about 2 weeks but enjoyed seeing a new part of the country, especially for the fall foliage. My big disappointment was that I wasn’t able to visit the nuclear submarine Nautilus at the Navy’s Groton base. It had been taken elsewhere for repairs/renovation I was told.

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Hurricane Ida – and back to Louisiana

Right on schedule, Ida came up the gulf early September and hit Louisiana (again). Both Leslie and I were called up and it seemed like we were coming back home. This is what we experienced over about 2 months:

This trailer park had just been brought in to New Orleans airport for FEMA personnel temp housing, Covid check-in and testing, and initial staging.

Obliterated trailer. We saw this repeated multiple times.

Walking back to our car towards the end of a day, I stopped to realize this was the frame of a trailer twisted into a pretzel. People told me there were tornadoes inside Ida.

This trailer had been sitting on a raised slab and was totaled.

I never found out the status of the people who used to live in this missing bedroom.

For a lot of people, everything was lost.

Many homes smashed by fallen trees.

Common community scene. Blown shingles everywhere.

Hard scrabble neighborhoods were hit hard.

FEMA Corps interns seeing destruction for the first time.

My partner. Our DSA (Disaster Survivor Assistance) cadre is tasked with going door to door, engaging with the community.

Business, especially the fishing industry, was hit hard. The tide surge left many boats high and dry.

More damage.

A common sight.

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