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Thread: I'm Back. Life after the storm

  1. #16
    Senior Contributor Bigfella's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gun Grape View Post
    If by "Normal" you mean the way things were before the storm, Thats going to be about 10 years from now.

    Still no gas stations/grocery stores within 45 miles. And its not because they don't have electricity, The ones that were not destroyed suffered massive damage.

    One of the hospitals has their ER open. The others are completely shut down
    My starting point for 'normal' is being able to sleep in my own bed and moves on in stages. :-) Sorry to hear things are still so messed up. Sounds like it will be messy for a while. Glad everyone is OK. Stay safe.


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  2. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gun Grape View Post
    Finally got power back. Its not permanent power, the electric company brought in some industrial size generators to power the communities until the transmission lines are fixed. This storm was far reaching, You all probably know that better than me. Been in a news blackout

    Wife is back at the house,( I have a story about her experience and the types of friends that you make in the military) We are starting to cleanup in the yard. Had a tree hit the house, loss some shingles, broke a window, scratched her new car. Roof started leaking friday, So I'm getting a blue roof. All said, I came out real good, no complaints.

    I live 17 miles from Mexico Beach. Its still so bad there that only residents and recovery crews are allowed in. Panama City is bad, the communities East of Mexico Beach are decimated.

    I did a lot of stupid things before the storm. And I will tell you that no matter how well you think you are prepared, Mother nature has the final say. And she is a bitch.

    I'll post various musings later about the good, the bad and the ugly. What we in the Corps use to call a "Hot Wash"
    Sorry I'm late in seeing this Gunny.

    Glad all are safe & sound.

    Hang tough.
    “Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.”
    Mark Twain

  3. #18
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    Gunny

    Holy. Shit.

    I have to also second your high comments for power companies. In 1998 we were hit with a massive ice storm at Christmas time. 5-7 inches of ice. Crashed the power grid. Those power guys were out at 0300 on Christmas morning getting to work. We were out for 5 days but they did a great job.

    In 2003 we got in September by Isabelle, a category 3 hurricane. It hit the mouth of the Chesapeake at high tide. The James River flowed INLAND for 3 hours at 2100 as the eye passed due to the storm surge. My county had 90% of its power grid destroyed...not our of power...destroyed. Poles, wires, substations. You name it. At 0800 the next morning I was out looking for ice since no power. Saw 4 power crews from MAINE! working in my neighborhood cleaning up. By 1400 there were 2 semitrailers sitting up the road which were full of power polls. We had power in 4 days. It was a miracle. I took them almost 3 weeks to get whole county up. Keep in mind almost 20% of the country is swamp as we are at the edge of the Tidewater. These folks did amazing work in a short period time. And and my power company is a rural electric cooperative not some huge company.

    Power company guys are amazing.

    FYI since then they have undertaken an aggressive hardening process, building robust substations and brutally cutting back branches, etc., from power lines. They don't give a damn if your proud of you prized Japanese Maple. If its growing in the right of way it is cutting cut off 5 feet below the power lines.

    Semper Fi Gunny and hope all gets better quickly.

    And you comment about working for the county/city kind of answers the old question, at least in the North.

    Q: What is the definition of essential personnel?

    A: Anyone who drives a snowplow
    “Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.”
    Mark Twain

  4. #19
    Resident Curmudgeon Military Professional Gun Grape's Avatar
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    Been thinking if I wanted to share a story. Two stories, really. One good one bad. But to get to the good one, I have to tell the bad.

    So here goes. First the bad.

    My wife is in Ocala for a few days and i get a call. She has been harassed/made unwelcome by a few locals. First incident is at Wallmart, at the pharmacy. She went there to get an emergency refill of her insulin. Was suppose to have a Dr appt at Tyndall 2 days after the storm. So no refills left on her prescription Tricare is on the ball and issued a notice to all tricare pharmacies in FL, GA and Al to issue a 30 day supply to evacuees from the hurricane hit area. The store she went to said they couldn't do it without a new script and that they had not seen anything from Tricare about "Whatever" the wife was saying. Wife tells them to go to the Tricare web site or call them. The pharmacy tech and my wife start having a calm discussion, but the wife is getting nervous, and as english is her second language,when she gets nervous her english comprehension goes south she is having to tell the the to slow down and repeat various things. Then some nice person in line tells her to "Learn english or GTF out of the country".

    Next day she is in the Nieces yard when a neighbor comes out yelling and screaming about she need to go back where shes from and, the presidents going to make sure people like her get kicked out . Then starts cursing about how she (the woman) is wasting her time cause its obvious my wife doesn't understand what she is saying". Family blows it off with "hey didn't mean anything, people around here just aren't use to seeing asian people".

    Wife call's me when I get home from work. Tell her I will come and get her as soon as I can. We are under a 7PM to 7AM curfew. No exceptions, straight to jail. So I cannot leave until at least morning. Plus under a state of emergency the only way I can miss work is if I'm in the hospital. So the plan is I will go to work the next morning, tell my boss the situation, then let him know I will be back the next day (If I have a job). Boss is no problem. Great guy to work for/with.

    So I'm sitting in the dark, relaxing to the smell of Hoppes #9 and CLP (some may get the reference)thinking about heading south.
    Last edited by Gun Grape; 20 Nov 18, at 02:10.
    Its called Tourist Season. So why can't we shoot them?

  5. #20
    Senior Contributor Oracle's Avatar
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    GG, did your wife file a police complaint? Those xenophobic racists should be in jail, not on the streets. People like these are destroying society's cultural fabric everywhere.
    Politicians are elected to serve...far too many don't see it that way - Albany Rifles!

    Loyalty to country always. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it - Mark Twain!

  6. #21
    Resident Curmudgeon Military Professional Gun Grape's Avatar
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    So there I am, In the dark, tired from clearing trees all day, eating a MRE and thinking "not good" thoughts. Then the phone rings.

    A friend of mine, Army guy that I served with at the Gunnery Dept at Ft Sill back in 91-94 calls to see if we are OK after the storm.

    This is a guy, and is wife, that every couple of years comes down to go to the beach and fish. And every couple of years we go up to Atlanta to hang out. Wives go shopping. We don't send Christmas cards but have been to all the kids graduations.

    I bring him up to date. As soon as I mention the problems the wife is having, he tells his wife to call my wife on her cell. His wife is also Korean. Then he tells me what a dumbass jarhhead thing I'm planning to do and that no good will come of it. For me to get up and go to work the next day cause "He's got this" and when I get off work the next day everything will be OK. He will take care of any "Attitudes" and get my wife out of there. I should mention that he looks like Ving Rhames in Dawn of the Dead if Mr Rhames worked out more.

    So in the middle of the night he and his wife take a 12 hour (round trip) road trip pick up my wife and she stayed with them until the power came back on at the house. And I'm still cutting down trees.

    People ask me what I miss most about the military. And there it is, the life long friends you make. People that will drop everything at a moments notice when you need help and ask for nothing in return. And he isn't even a Jarhead
    Its called Tourist Season. So why can't we shoot them?

  7. #22
    Defense ProfessionalSenior Contributor tbm3fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gun Grape View Post
    Been thinking if I wanted to share a story. Two stories, really. One good one bad. But to get to the good one, I have to tell the bad.

    So here goes. First the bad.

    My wife is in Ocala for a few days and i get a call. She has been harassed/made unwelcome by a few locals. First incident is at Wallmart, at the pharmacy. She went there to get an emergency refill of her insulin. Was suppose to have a Dr appt at Tyndall 2 days after the storm. So no refills left on her prescription Tricare is on the ball and issued a notice to all tricare pharmacies in FL, GA and Al to issue a 30 day supply to evacuees from the hurricane hit area. The store she went to said they couldn't do it without a new script and that they had not seen anything from Tricare about "Whatever" the wife was saying. Wife tells them to go to the Tricare web site or call them. The pharmacy tech and my wife start having a calm discussion, but the wife is getting nervous, and as english is her second language,when she gets nervous her english comprehension goes south she is having to tell the the to slow down and repeat various things. Then some nice person in line tells her to "Learn english or GTF out of the country".

    Next day she is in the Nieces yard when a neighbor comes out yelling and screaming about she need to go back where shes from and, the presidents going to make sure people like her get kicked out . Then starts cursing about how she (the woman) is wasting her time cause its obvious my wife doesn't understand what she is saying". Family blows it off with "hey didn't mean anything, people around here just aren't use to seeing asian people".

    Wife call's me when I get home from work. Tell her I will come and get her as soon as I can. We are under a 7PM to 7AM curfew. No exceptions, straight to jail. So I cannot leave until at least morning. Plus under a state of emergency the only way I can miss work is if I'm in the hospital. So the plan is I will go to work the next morning, tell my boss the situation, then let him know I will be back the next day (If I have a job). Boss is no problem. Great guy to work for/with.

    So I'm sitting in the dark, relaxing to the smell of Hoppes #9 and CLP (some may get the reference)thinking about heading south.
    Sorry to hear about that crap. One doesn't see it too often out here but it does happen. My wife, working in a rehab facility, was told by a patient that Filipinas don't belong here because they can't speak English. Funny, but all the ones I know speak quite well. He thought my wife was Fijian, like that is different, until she told him she is Filipina. However, if it had been outside she would have unloaded on him as I well know.

    Hang in there as I know you will do...

  8. #23
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oracle View Post
    GG, did your wife file a police complaint? Those xenophobic racists should be in jail, not on the streets. People like these are destroying society's cultural fabric everywhere.
    Police complaint ? the community is recovering from a hurricane, there is a curfew in effect. The cops would be stretched pretty thin and not have time for trivial nonsense like this.

    i've had that thrown at me in London a few times. Never in the north though.

    Once there was even a cop standing next by and asked me if I needed any help.

    I told him its great to live in a free country and laughed it off.

    I'd be in hysterics if this happened in the US or anywhere in the new world, a bunch of immigrants telling another immigrant to speak an imported language or gtfo? lol

    Can't control what people say, fully in control how you deal with it

    It's another matter if they want to beat you up ofc
    Last edited by Double Edge; 20 Nov 18, at 19:17.

  9. #24
    Senior Contributor Oracle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Double Edge View Post
    Police complaint ? the community is recovering from a hurricane, there is a curfew in effect. The cops would be stretched pretty thin and not have time for trivial nonsense like this.

    i've had that thrown at me in London a few times. Never in the north though.

    Once there was even a cop standing next by and asked me if I needed any help.

    I told him its great to live in a free country and laughed it off.

    I'd be in hysterics if this happened in the US or anywhere in the new world, a bunch of immigrants telling another immigrant to speak an imported language or gtfo? lol

    Can't control what people say, fully in control how you deal with it

    It's another matter if they want to beat you up ofc
    Yes, yes. I get it. I should have gauged the situation better.

    Can't control what people say, fully in control how you deal with it - clap clap clap!
    Politicians are elected to serve...far too many don't see it that way - Albany Rifles!

    Loyalty to country always. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it - Mark Twain!

  10. #25
    Resident Curmudgeon Military Professional Gun Grape's Avatar
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    2 months in, an update.

    Things are slowly getting back to "The new normal". We just cleared the last house off a road last week. For us east of Panama City, every house that can accept it has water/electric. The grocery store is open, 1 of the 3 fast food places are open.
    Of the 7 gas stations between Apalachicola and Panama City. The town/communities of Port St Joe to Mexico beach, One store has a connex box out front to accept money and working gas pumps. All the others are being torn down. Totally destroyed.

    Our community depends on tourism, a prison and the timber industry. The 4 local rental agencies have lost between 97% and 100% of their houses. All 7 hotels were destroyed. There is one hotel by the hospital, small and used by the hospital for traveling doctors and nurses. Its still there, damaged but maybe 20 rooms.

    The prison suffered severe damage and has not reopened yet. The Work camp has opened and the inmates there are being shipped to the main prison daily to do recovery work.

    We lost over 90% of the trees in the area. Those that are still standing are twisted and mangled. According to the paper companies they cannot be used to make paper. Those that are on the ground cannot be used if they are laying more than 6 weeks. So that's an industry that is no more. It takes 20-25 years to grow a pine tree to harvest.

    The Mayor of Mexico Beach announced last month that 85% of the houses/apartments/condos were destroyed/uninhabitable and 95% of the infrastructure was destroyed. And the city only has 1 million dollars in reserve. Property tax bills went out 2 weeks ago, and they came with a latter saying "We know many of these places were damaged or lost. Your bill reflects what your property was worth in Jan 2018. Please pay your taxes early if you can" Or words to that effect. This storm came at the end of the fiscal year, so the local governments depend on their reserves until people pay their property taxes in January. And traditionally after a big event, people don't pay. And I understand that, When you have lost your house, your vehicles and your job paying taxes on something not there is the last thing you think about. Its one of the reasons that the first thing the local governments try to get going is the schools. It ties you to staying in the community.

    Panama city is worse. Not worse than Mexico beach, but in really bad shape.
    Its called Tourist Season. So why can't we shoot them?

  11. #26
    Resident Curmudgeon Military Professional Gun Grape's Avatar
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    Some things in panama City. The Raceway gas station in Parker is open. All the Waffle Houses are open (with a reduced menu). All three Wallmarts are open. Sams Club open Maybe 4 grocery stores are open. A couple of restaurants. Lowes and Home Depot are open

    The Mall is being torn down. None of the big box stores,(Best Buy, Target, Kohls....) are open. The paper mill is hoping to work up to 25% next month. The ship yard is doing recovery ops.

    Bay Medical Hospital, the public hospital still only running the emergency room. They plan to open next month. Had to lay off half their employees. 3/4 of the hospital was destroyed. They will go from a 370 bed hospital to a 100 bed hospital.
    Gulf Coast, private hospital are delivering babies. Plan to have 100 beds open by mid Jan.

    Powell broadcasting, that owned 5 of the radio stations shut down.

    5 of the schools in Bay County were destroyed.

    If you want to shop, go out to eat, see a doctor You either go to Tallahassee, Panama City Beach or Pensacola.

    On a personal note. I'm tired. I spend every day clearing debris. Then on the weekend I try to clear the down trees in the yard. I'm loosing hair by the handful, Got some crazy rash on the arms that the Doc says is from handling all the trees and everyone is getting, I grind my teeth, Feel like I have an elephant sitting on my chest. I have a hard time focusing mentally. I know its all stress But where do you go to get rid of it when everything for 100 miles looks worse than some of the war zones I've been to? And I can't take any Be happy medicine and run a chainsaw every day. One of the reasons I've started building models again

    On the good side I've lost almost 30lbs

    If the site will let me, I'll post some pictures of Mexico Beach later
    Its called Tourist Season. So why can't we shoot them?

  12. #27
    Resident Curmudgeon Military Professional Gun Grape's Avatar
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    How strong of a wind does it take to bend a palm tree?

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    Its called Tourist Season. So why can't we shoot them?

  13. #28
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    Cape San Blas. Once voted as Americas best beach by Dr Beach.

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    This was the playground at on of the county parks at the cape. With swing set and sliding board.

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    Its called Tourist Season. So why can't we shoot them?

  14. #29
    Resident Curmudgeon Military Professional Gun Grape's Avatar
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    Mexico Beach after 2 months of cleanup

    I think this was City Hall

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    Looking towards the beach

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    The storm surge line of debris on Highway 98 about a mile east of Mexico Beach
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    And this is what our forest look like now
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    Its called Tourist Season. So why can't we shoot them?

  15. #30
    Resident Curmudgeon Military Professional Gun Grape's Avatar
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    So here we are 7 almost 8 months after the storm. The new normal The gas station working out of a connex box is still working out of the connex box. The others have been torn down. A new one was built So between Apalachicola and Panama City
    there is one convenience store with gas.

    Still have to go to Panama City Beach, if you want to eat out. In Panama City Target and Kohls have opened back up.

    Construction and demolition going on all over the place. maybe half of what need to be demolished has been.

    FEMA contractors stopped picking up debris last week. Every store you go into smells like fresh paint and bleach.

    Life goes on.

    Here are a before and after picture of Mexico Beach

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    The people at Tyndall are still living in tents. They haven't even started on base housing. We may need to rethink this civilian management of base housing thing
    Its called Tourist Season. So why can't we shoot them?

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