Update from Jacksonville

We survived the storm in Mobile. Heavy winds, trees down, signs mangled, and the like. But best guess is that the winds did not top more than 70-80 mph (with higher gusts). The big news in Mobile was the surge and the effects it had on the area around Mobile Bay. That oil rig that slammed into the Cochran-Africatown bridge… yeah, we have some intimate knowledge of that debacle, but that story will have to wait.

With the news that power was likely to be out for weeks, and Paul’s precious vacation time slipping away, we decided to set off for Jacksonville, Florida, to the home of my brother and sister-in-law. We left around noon and made the 430 mile trip in about 7 hours. The most interesting part: seeing dozens of convoys heading in the other directions… tree removal crews, search and rescue hauling boats and ATVs, and many, many power vehicles.

About an hour after our warm welcome in Jacksonville, we got the call from Mom. Miracle of miracles… the power is back in Mobile. Paul is anxious to go back and settle back into a routine, so I think we may be truckin’ back tomorrow. To say that Will has been incredible is the world’s biggest understatement. It is impossible to not feel blessed when he is around.

However, being here tonight has allowed us our first exposure to the visual impact of our city. It is one thing to be contemplating the complete loss of property — but to pile on that the loss of neighborhood, community, livelihood, and city… that is overwhelming.

Quick bullets of where we stand:
— Our home sits in some of the highest ground in the city. We do not think we have experienced flooding.
— We have no idea of wind damage. While it is possible that we remained dry in terms of flooding, it is also quite possible we lost all or part of our roof, several windows, or both.
— “Looting” in our neighborhood is a possibility. We live between two major grocery stores, across the street from some upscale, newly built homes. That said, I feel that the little I’ve heard about the New Orleans looting situation has a strong racist undertone that makes me ill, so I’m trying to steer clear of that type of talk at present.
— I still hold my crush for Mayor Nagin and my fondest for Mary Landrieu. Governor Blanco is worthless.
— We do not expect to go back for weeks. Months, maybe? And are, frankly, terrified and overwhelmed.

My deepest thanks to those who have been following the news, trying to contact us, and taking this as seriously as those of us who are living it. It means the world and is what is keeping us going. We are trying to remain upbeat and focusing on how thankful we are.

Please keep your thoughts coming our way. We love seeing the blog comments. Also, you can reach us at coldspaghetti@gmail.com . We anticipate having power and regular phone and internet once we arrive back in Mobile.