Saturday, September 10, 2016

Re-building Flood Damaged Homes in W VA

I promised to tell you a little about our home re-build in West Virginia. You probably know that several towns in W VA suffered terrible floods last spring. A couple weeks ago, some members of the Miami Valley (Ohio)  Disaster Recovery Team went over to lend a hand. Our team is made up of members from a number of area churches and works through UMCOR, the United Methodist Committee on Relief.

If you've never experienced a serious flood, the critical time for saving a home is the first days after the water recedes. Everything that was under water that can't be dried and sanitized has to be thrown away. This includes upholstered furniture, mattresses, rugs, etc. Anything electric, including appliances, are usually ruined. Carpet and a most of types of flooring have to be taken up and discarded, and drywall/sheet rock has to be cut out to above the waterline, otherwise black mold will set in and the house will become uninhabitable.  Sadly, the first step of the recovery appears to destroy more than the flood waters did.

When the rebuild team arrives, we usually find the home looking like this.

Actually, we had just finished laying that plywood sub-floor before I took that picture. 

That nail gun had quite a kick to it. 

After we get the floors in, it's time for the walls.

We got them installed and mudded (seams covered and walls ready for painting).

We did meet some interesting residents but we left each other alone.

Yes, those are little bats. 

Here are the bigger bats.

 This is part of the crew that worked that week.
Most of us are retired seniors who aren't ready for the old rocking chair quite yet.

(Before you ask, no I didn't cut off my fingers and stuff them in my pocket.)

I'd like to show you the finished home but I rarely get to see one. We work by the tag team method. A team goes to a house, gets as much work done as they can then goes home, and another team arrives and picks it up from there. Our week was mostly sub-floors and walls. Sometimes the home owner will take it from there if they have the resources to finish it off. One way or the other, our goal is to get people back into their homes. It's a pretty good way to spend a week.

Well dang it, I've done it again. I let the "personal sharing" part of this post get too long so I have to cut the funnies to a minimum.  How about a good joke? 

A painter by the name of Murphy, while not a brilliant scholar, was a gifted portrait artist. Over a short number of years, his fame grew and soon people from all over Ireland were coming to the town of Doolin in County Clare, to get him to paint their likenesses.

One day, a beautiful young English woman arrived at his house in a stretch limo and asked if he would paint her in the nude. This being the first time anyone had made such a request he was a bit perturbed, particularly when the woman told him that money was no object; in fact, she was willing to pay up to £10,000.

Not wanting to get into any marital strife, he asked her to wait while he went into the house to confer with Mary, his wife. In a few minutes he returned. "T' would be me pleasure to paint yer portrait, missus," he said. "The wife says it's okay. I'll paint you in the nude all right; but I have to at least leave me socks on, so I have a place to wipe me brushes."

Sounds fair to me.

This picture has nothing to do with this post whatsoever
 but I came across it recently and it cracked me up.

Hey, we've all been there, right?

Maybe I'd better go straight to your "aw".

You know, it's easy to get an "aw" with a little sad face.
Add a tear and it's a sure thing.
But what about this adorable smile?

Come on, you know you said it.

I hope some of you stop by this weekend because this post is getting bumped on Monday. I've got something special coming on that day so please come back.

Have a fantastic weekend.

Puzzler for Today:  

I planted some bird seed. A bird came up. Now I don't know what to feed it.



Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Oh, Yoda...
It must be satisfying to go in and help like that. Flooding is the worst because pretty much everything must go.
Miami Valley - Miami of Ohio!

LD Masterson said...

Alex - I agree. A tornado does great damage but then it's over. With floods, the water goes down then everything has to be thrown out behind it. (Yup, Miami of Ohio.)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi LD - sounds like a great group to be involved with ... helping others out - what a wonderful thing to do. People always need help though ... congratulations ... Hilary

Kaye George said...

Thank God for UMCOR! I used to do some work with them when I was younger. I'm glad you're able to do that. Thanks for the pictures. And the nude painting story.

Stacy McKitrick said...

Wow, that's a lot of work to do and I'm sure the owners are eternally grateful. Glad you didn't cut your fingers off in the process! :)

LD Masterson said...

Hilary - They truly are. I'm very fortunately to be part of the group.

Kaye - Cool. I don't run into a lot of UMCOR outside of disaster sites. Glad you liked the story.

Stacy - Me, too!

Mason Canyon said...

What wonderful work y'all do, LD. It's a shame you don't get to see the finished house, but you know you've started it on the right path. Love the joke.

Thoughts in Progress
and MC Book Tours

Maria Zannini said...

It always makes me grin when I see "old" people working on "young" people projects.

You make my age group proud!

re: nail gun
I think they used a nail gun in one of the Lethal Weapon movies. Great effect!

Carol Kilgore said...

Y'all do so good with your rebuilding work. Kudos to you and all the teams. Love the funnies and the aw :)

LD Masterson said...

Mason - Thanks. Occasionally we're the final team and get to welcome the family back home. Always feels great.

Maria - Who ya callin' old, you whippersnapper? I'm actually one of the youngsters on this team. Keeps me from complaining about my achy knees.

Carol - Thanks. And I'm glad your enjoy that aw. That little smile just melted me.

Maryannwrites said...

So proud of the volunteer work you do. I was a Red Cross volunteer but had to pull back after my husband died and it was too hard for me to be gone on a moment's notice - too many animals relying on me.

I never did the kind of work you do, but helped man a shelter in a nearby small town.

And I love the puzzler. Brought to mind, Steven Wright. I could almost hear his deadpan delivery as I read it.

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

What a wonderful and important project you guys did. We've done similar things through our church, the Red Cross, and amateur radio in the past, and no matter how exhausted we were at the end of the day, it always felt fantastic to have been able to do it.

Good joke, but that AWWWW puppy is the cutest ever.

LD Masterson said...

Maryann - I was a Red Cross volunteer for 20 years. What our church team does is on a smaller scale but we get to help one person or family so it's very satisfying. Plus, when we're doing re-build word, we get to have some advance notice. It really helps.

Susan F.S. - Yeah, it always feels good. And I loved that puppy.