A blog by Lori Lyons

Sunday, December 5, 2021

To Whom It May Concern -- Re: Ida

 

To: Loan Management Company in Texas

From: Me in Norco, Louisiana

Re: Hurricane Ida repairs
 

To Whom It May Concern:

I recently received a letter from your department asking for an update on the repairs to your/my property in Norco, Louisiana following our direct hit from Hurricane Ida on August 29, 2021. Your letter stated that it had been more than 90 days since the Category 4 storm devastated our tiny town and you were requesting an update on our repairs. I kind of got the impression that you think enough time has passed and that we should be done with all repairs that needed to be done. 

Well, here is the update you requested:  

The teal tarp roof that was put on our roof a week after the storm is mostly still in place. A few passing thunderstorms and cold fronts have torn a few spots, but as far as I can tell we have not lost any more shingles. One storm did reveal one roof leak above the stairs, but no further damage to the interior was sustained. Contrary to popular belief, the reason our roof is still teal is not that it is my favorite color and matches nearly all of our backyard pool d├ęcor. It is because estimates are harder to get than Saints wins right now. So are shingles and people who know how to put them on properly for less than the price of a 2017 Honda Civic. It’s rude to keep calling, texting and emailing. We just have to wait our turn. Besides, with the Christmas lights on, you barely even notice the tarp.

 After being stood up twice by a guy who promised to come tackle our tree stumps, we finally had to hire a company from Florida. Although they promised to be here before dark, the two Floridians did not arrive until about 7:30 p.m. on a Friday night. Fortunately, they brought very bright lights with them and were able to use their remote controlled stump grinders to disintegrate two of the four large stumps left behind from the toppled trees. The other two could not be removed because they are now irrevocably tangled up with the metal hurricane fence (ironic, huh?), which must be cut before the stumps can be removed. We must put our heads together to come up with a solution for those.

But, at least the removal of the two stumps allowed us to move forward with repairing our backyard privacy fence, although, I must say, it doesn’t afford much privacy. One of the stumps was the last remnant of a 20-year-old holly tree that provided not only nice shade from the western sun, but also a healthy screen between us and our backdoor neighbor’s bathroom window. Just this week he and I were able to see “eye-to-eye” as both he and our dogs took care of their morning business at the same time. 

We also were able to repair our front picket fence, although our little dog, Lola, has informed us a few times that there is still a Lola-sized hole that needs repairing. She has not yet informed us of its location, however, so she and Pepper can't play in their yard alone right now. I also ordered a replacement for the garden arch that went over the front gate. I must say, the newer model is much nicer than the one I ordered from the J.C. Penney catalogue in 1995 and was much easier to put together. Maybe this one will allow a lovely, thriving, flowering vine to grow on its boughs – unlike the last one, which never did.

 And, much to my great joy, our beautiful swimming pool, which was left looking more like a Louisiana bayou by Hurricane Ida, is now back to its original Caribbean Blue color. Well, it was. We hired a pool company from neighboring Kenner to come clean it out. And I do mean, clean it out. They had to drain it, shovel it out, scrape it out, brush it out, then acid wash it out to get the plaster back to white. That cost a pretty penny or two. We are having a tough time keeping it blue, however, because, along with a shingles shortage, there also is a nationwide chlorine shortage.

And I still have not been able to find a replacement for our round top front door. OK. That's not entirely true. I did find a round top screen door on Facebook marketplace. It was being offered as a lovely wedding background accent piece. But the closest wooden front door I have found was someplace in upstate New York and cost more than my daughter's annual college tuition.

I think that’s about it for now, but please keep in mind that Ida is the gift that keeps on giving. We are at present compiling a list of supplemental expenses to send to our insurance company, including the mold that we found growing inside the kitchen cabinet and behind the portrait of me that my late mother commissioned when I was in high school. We also will send the receipts for the stump removal if we ever find someone to come remove them from the hurricane fences. Fortunately, our debris pile is still out front so we at least have a place to put them.

Of course, once the insurance company mails us the check made out to you, we will overnight it to you so you can send it back to us two weeks later. 

Hey! Thanks for asking about us!

The Luquets