Suzie, Peace House Nanny: This is Suzie’s husband and son in the photos. On Saturday, the waters flooded into their front cement pad and rose and started coming inside the front entrance. They decided to put some things together and go to a relative’s home for the weekend. They went home Wednesday to clean things up and sleep there again. The pile of dirt is the debris they swept up when the waters receded. Unfortunately they had water going into their house again when it rained around 2″ Thursday night.
Rosemarie, Hope House Nanny: Rosemanie lives in a second floor apartment downtown by the water. Her street was flooded badly, making it hard for her to get out. Although she lives on the second floor, her house was knee deep with water for the majority of the weekend (look at the cinderblock under the bed to see the water level). She sent her two daughters to go stay with a relative while she held down the fort on her own. By the time we visited, she had been doing this for six days and still had some water to get rid of. Above two of the beds, she uses cut portions of an air mattress to act as a barrier for the water. Those were still full because it had rained again. She also uses a large rain barrel and several five gallon buckets, but these were not enough for the heavy rains we got. Her largest need is a new or repaired roof, as well as three new mattresses. She was able to save all their clothes, which she is proudly displaying here. She spent all of Thursday washing laundry and trying to get it dried between spurts of rain and clouds.
Jesula, Hope House Nanny: Jesula lives in one of the areas that was hit hardest. On Saturday night while we were stuck downtown, Jesula stayed up until about 2:30 am telling me what she was hearing on the radio while she was at COTP watching our kids. She heard that four houses “crashed” in her neighborhood but didn’t know if people had died or whose houses they were. These pictures show a couple of them. You can see how high the mud has pushed up in relation to the door and roof in these homes. She was also concerned for her family– her daughter was vacated along with other relatives (she was staying at Rose Madeline’s house), and her sister and nephew were on a bed praying the water didn’t get too high. The current was too strong for them to safely leave at that point.
Jesula went home Sunday afternoon and said that was a mistake because of how bad the roads were on a moto. But her sister and nephew needed a place to stay since their place was still too flooded, so they all stayed put. She then came back to work Tuesday with the help of Paulin, one of our drivers. Paulin came back to COTP, and he said he’d take her home. When she got to her neighborhood, the canal was full (usually dry), and her normal walkway was now a river with a strong current. She sent me a video, and we made a fast decision for them to all come to our house until it was safe to stay there again. Her house sits right on the edge of the mountainside, and we were afraid of a mudslide since she said the dirt under the foundation was already washing away (picture with sandbags– that is usually all filled in with dirt). So Paulin made the trip back, but before that, they made a few stops to get money and supplies to some other nannies. They also picked Suzie up, who had been stuck downtown trying to go to the market for the Peace House. They arrived well after dark, but we are thankful for Paulin’s willingness to help get them all here safely.
Jesula’s house did not get flooded, but some things got wet. She is very thankful for this! She said the water is starting to recede in her neighborhood. It’s now been a full week.
Rose Madeline, Life House Nanny: Rose Madeline was home Saturday night with her three grown children and eight grandchildren. The canal that sits behind her house got so full that it pushed up and was starting to leak into her back and side doors. She also had water gushing in her front door with a pretty good current both in the canal and on the walkway in the front. She made the fast decision to get as much as she could to a higher location and get the kids all to her cousin’s place in a safer spot.
When they went back to the house on Sunday when the rain slowed down for a while, they were able to see the damage. All the mattresses are ruined. They lost clothing and shoes, as well as some important documents, such as birth certificates. They had a lot of mud in the house. The water got about waist high in the home. On Thursday, it was still damp and cold, but she said the family of eleven is obligated to sleep there on the floor or wet mattresses. They looked tired and hungry, and she kept reminding me this week is the four month anniversary of the death of her daughter. Her daughter’s four kids now live with her, and it is difficult to feed them all when times are good, but now she expects to struggle more.
She wants her pictures shared and said she wants more people from COTP to visit. She lives in the same neighborhood as Jesula that got slammed hard.