Wednesday, August 18, 2004
Sign my guestbook. View my guestbook.
Angel statue inside the Sainte Trinité church in the 9th arrondissement.
|Hurricane Charley has called us home. Today is the first day that
the authorities are allowing residents to return to Sanibel Island.
Captiva is still off limits. Many of our friends thought Sanibel was
not hit hard by the storm because there is not much coverage about it
on the news media. That is because the news media, along with
everyone else, was not allowed to be there. They still aren't. Even
if my brother or my stepson comes to help us with the clean up, I
have to arrange for them to get a pass at the temporary city hall
over on the mainland.
We expect roof damage and broken windows, a green scummy pool with trees inside, wreckage instead of a pool cage. The water on the island is still not potable. Phone service is practically nonexistent. A very few spots on the island have electrical power, but even there, it comes and goes. Neighbors who are up north are going crazy because they can't get specific info on their homes. One of my first tasks when we arrive will be to take digital pics of many homes and send them to the owners.
Fortunately, at night we will be able to stay on the mainland, at my parents apartment (they're up north) where there is electricity, a.c., phone, potable water -- all the things we won't have on Sanibel for a while.
Friends who went just over the bridge onto the mainland to ride out the storm in Fort Myers were scared beyond belief. The storm was loud, and the wind was extreme, even on the mainland. I hear that people in Arcadia, even farther inland, are upset because they suffered great damage and the media is totally ignoring them. They're afraid they won't get needed assistance. The governer went on TV and said they would indeed get help. I hope so.
Paris is still beautiful, but we can't stay and play here when there is so much hard work to do at home. I went to the Thomas Cook travel agency yesterday to see what I could do about the train tickets I had purchased for Germany. The two young women there spoke no English, but we managed to all figure out that I could get a credit from the agency that I can use to buy train tickets next year. I explained the situation to them, that because of the large hurricane we had to return home. That only today were the authorities allowing the residents to return to Sanibel. I said several other things. They were well aware of Charley and how bad it was. They were extraordinarily nice and sympathetic. As I left, they wished me "good courage" as we face all the hard work ahead.
So, this is the end of the 2004 Paris Journal. I will start a web page elsewhere to post some post-Charley photos, because several friends and neighbors tell me they cannot open attachments in their e-mail, but they can visit web sites to see photos. Goodbye Paris. Hello Sanibel.
The massive and beautiful Sainte Trinité church has an unusual porte cochere on the front. This is a city street that passes through the front of the church.
Interior of Sainte Trinité.