Sunday, November 06, 2016

Family time!

We moved on from Buccaneer State Park in Waveland, Mississippi, to the Natalbany Campground in Amite, Louisiana. We are here to visit cousin Gary and wife Jo. Normally we stay at their house, parking in the back yard. That wasn't possible this trip because three months ago, about August 20, this entire area in Louisiana was hit with over 30 inches of rain in a very short period. It was an "unnamed" tropical storm and it wreaked havoc on the entire lower part of the state. Gary and Jo woke up to three feet of water in their yard. Jo's office where she works on advertising specialties was full of river water. The house is built up off the ground on pylons three feet tall, so they were fortunate that they had no water in their house. The water lasted 36 hours and then receded. In addition to Jo's shop being inundated, their outbuildings and barns had nearly three feet of water in them and much of the equipment and tools stored there are probably ruined. Their Prevost bus in the backyard had water in the storage bays, but none in the coach itself, but the generator was flooded and it does not work. They worked tirelessly to get Jo's shop cleaned up and three weeks later she was able to get back in and work.

Today we toured some of the hardest hit areas around Denham Springs which Gary said left 55,000 residents with significant flood damage or homes totally destroyed by the water. Driving down through the streets of town, we saw piles of debris piled up on the sides of the road. In some subdivisions, only one lane was passable due to the debris. Gary said these were not the first loads set out by the road. People would haul ruined goods out, then when they started working on their homes, they would put out ruined dry wall and insulation, etc. So many of the debris piles were the 3rd and 4th piles of debris set out for the trash company to pick up. It was heartbreaking to see this. The Wal-Mart there was flooded and is still not open. . . three months later. Many businesses were closed and not likely to re-open. So much debris.

We visited a friend of Jo's and her husband. Gary and Jo's travel trailer sits in the back yard of their once flooded home where they have been living. When they first had to leave, they went to a shelter. They were moved to three different shelters. When Gary and Jo learned of this they took their trailer over and set it up for them. All their possession they were able to keep are on their covered patio. They were one of the lucky ones. They had flood insurance and insurance on contents, but it still hasn't been easy. They still have not gotten a settlement but are expecting one. While we were there, the gentlemen thanked Gary and Jo for their help and generosity in loaning them their trailer. He said one man told him he and his son had to move in with his sister and brother-in-law who is charging them $900 a month to live with them. And all he provides them for food is hot dogs and bologne while his family sits at the same table and eats steak in front of them. Gary told him they can keep the trailer as long as they need it, even if it's a year. This couple was very grateful for the kindness shown them.

Gary and Jo had barely cleaned up their place from the flood when they were in a terrible auto accident on I-12. I reported about this in an earlier blog Winding down, , ,, so I won't repeat it here. But they are recovering. Gary is able to drive, although his arm is still in a cast. Jo is still in a wheelchair because a broken bone in her leg needs to heal before it can bear weight. They seem to be doing well and are able to get around. Jo also has a motorized cart with which she can go out in the yard.

It was great to see them considering all their recent trials. We are glad they are recovering well and looking forward to the days ahead.

Till next time. . .



Gary Schuetz said...

You might be able to help me.....I have a 03 Sport Trac V6 4x4 that I'm trying to flat tow by adding the neutral tow kit. I saw one of your posts mentioning that you successfully towed a 03 ST and I am hoping that your ST is like mine and you can tell me how you switched your ST to tow mode and back out. The NTK instructions state to hold the 4x4Auto Button in while pressing the brake pedal for about 5 seconds. My ST doesn't have that 4x4Auto Button, rather it has a switch with 2WD/4HI/4LO. Did you have the switch like mine and if so, what were your steps. Thank you in advance. Regards, gary

Dale said...

We towed our 03 Sport Trac for 10 years over 100,000 miles. It had another 157,000 driven miles on it. It performed well for us. We traded it because the timing chains (there are 3) started rattling and our mechanic told us a breakdown was imminent and it would require most likely a new engine.

With regard to your question, we had the same switch as you did. . . the 2WD/4HI/4LO. This was the process I used:

1) Make sure the switch is pointed to 2WD
2) Place the gearshift in neutral
3) Turn the key back one notch. That turns it off, but does not lock the steering column. Leave the key in the ignition.
4) Depress the brake pedal and wait for the neutral tow light to cycle. Ours would click, then clunk and then the light stayed on. (about 8 seconds)

That was it. There were a lot of models of Sport Tracs, some towable, some not. I assume you have done your research there. Our instructions were in the manual.

Good luck,