Friday, August 24, 2012
Hurricane Andrew took part of the roof off my/our house in Baton Rouge, and damaged just about every building in the neighborhood, more than 100 miles from where the storm came ashore.
We had winds OVER 90 mph for about a quarter of an hour in, I repeat, BATON ROUGE.
In the aftermath, all the men in the neighborhood, on our street, got together spontaneously, shared tools and equipment, and we all worked together to make everybody else's house as well as our wwn secure against the elements. We shared tarps and plywood and nails and labor, about a dozen of us, all of whom had some experience or skill in construction--not unusual in the South, even in bourgeois neighborhoods.
The storm passed over us in the morning, pretty early, though it was light. We lost about 1/3 of the shingles and a couple of sheets of plywood at our place. Nobody had a LOT of damage, but everybody had SOME. We had all the houses on our street buttoned up by sunset.
Before the storm, I suppose we had known each other on sight, but there was no sense of "neighborhood" about "Riverbend" that was discernible. We all pitched in for that one day, but as far as I know, most of them/us never said another word to one another for the next three years, anyway. We moved in '94.