Hurricane Ida … Oh No!

Recently, a friend said she was waiting to see a blog on our recent storm damage.  I wondered myself why I hadn’t written about it.  Probably because it is so painful and upsetting, and we are still living with the results of it. But today is exactly the type of day that encourages my writing – rainy, dark and not conducive to outside activities.

So, let’s go back to Wed. night, Sept. 1st.  The TV warned of a hurricane coming with “flash flooding” in the area.  In the past, my husband and I basically ignored all warnings of such disasters.  In the 37 years that we have lived in our earth-sheltered home (built by my husband), nary a drop of rainwater has entered. We always felt safe and cozy and felt badly for others who had suffered storm-related damages in the past.  This time was different.

Hurricane Ida came at night and, true to the sound-muffling feature of our home, we heard nothing.  In the morning I walked to my daughter’s room to ride the stationary bike.  I saw puddles of water on the tiles in the living room, dining room, kitchen, etc.  Walking into her bedroom, I realized the carpet was soaking wet. Further inspection found the carpet in my son’s room and in my bedroom wet as well, although not as badly.

My husband assessed the damage, made some stabs as to how and where the water came in, and then we went about making plans.  Of course, all the Remediation companies were swamped (pun intended) with frantic customers who needed help.

Bottom line: carpet removed in all 3 bedrooms, a company came to handle mildew and mold (removing wallboard 4 feet up from floor), all the furniture in my daughter’s room tossed, all the stuff in hers and my son’s bedrooms stored in a 20 foot storage unit on our property (I bagged and tagged all), leaving us to look for a place to stay while all this got repaired. Between 4 different companies, there were 2 Matts and 4 Mikes and it was up to me to keep them straight. I cajoled a man who had previously done construction for us to put us in his busy schedule.  Oh, and did I say that insurance won’t reimburse us because we don’t have flood insurance?

My friend jokingly said, “Let’s see how organized you are … do you know where your knitting needles are?  I’d like to borrow size 7 double-pointed.”  I went into the storage unit to send her this photo:  She got her needles.

So where are we today?  Through the generosity of close friends with whom we made a deal, we are staying at their beautiful and spacious home nearby. We are comfortable, safe and thankful.  But we are not home.  We are waiting for wallboard to be replaced, walls painted and floor tiling.  Once the carpet is reinstalled in our bedroom and furniture put back in place, we will move back in even if the other bedrooms are not ready. Maybe by the end of the month…

We are luckier than many.  For that we are grateful.


  1. Jackie Morrison

    “A picture is worth 1000 words” but never envisioned the job you have done!

    • Yes, quite a lot of work went into it and is still being done. Looks like we’ll be back before my Oct. 22 birthday!

  2. Linda Levine

    Horrible, horrible horrible ( Hamlet) but you outlined so vividly all the details of your misfortune for your readers to shake their heads at!
    Can you think of any one good thing that came from the experience?

  3. Dr. Joe Utterback

    Great writeup, Arlene….! I know this has been a very difficult time for you and Marty. It was very touching to read your blog…..very well done….it carried the feeling of hope and acceptance…this demonstrated the great heart and feelings we have come to know from you and Marty. … be well…Joe…

  4. Sounds most disconcerting…. 🥲

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