Sunday, May 25, 2008


Our last day of work. This house was located in a township right at the edge of Lake Pontchartrain less than one hundred yards from the bank of the North Shore.

This was an interesting community and we got to speak with a gentleman who's wife was born in the house pictured below that we worked on. This was another house that had been mostly empty since Katrina. We cleaned the house out and gutted the interior. By the end of the day we were down to the bare walls, had removed the cabinets and stove in the kitchen, and created a pile of debris that will at least fill one of the large remodeling dumpsters like the one from our first day. Mold was particular bad and as usual we wore face masks. However, as the day progressed and the house aired out, and as we removed the moldy dry wall that situation improved considerably.

Around two in the afternoon Traci uncovered a rather large Cotton Mouth snake that had hidden itself in the wall just inside the door. Traci survived the encounter - the snake did not. Remember to click on the pictures for the full size image.

This is a picture of the house during the morning about an hour after we had started work.

The pile of debris pictured below became much larger as the day progressed. We spent the first hour or two cleaning the structure out and then started taking down the drywall. "Drywall is the principal wall material used in the United States for interior purposes. It is made of a sheet of gypsum covered on both sides with a paper facing and a paperboard backing ("

Drywall is a huge recycling problem with construction and remodeling efforts creating enormous amounts of waste sheet rock. Sheetrock is actually a brand name but is used generically to refer to the same building material.

The stove and the cabinets were removed. This was our second structure to gut and our second structure to have fire damage in the kitchen area around the stove.

A hole in the roof. Damage from Katrina was a one-two punch that included water from the storm surge and roof damage from tree limbs ripped off the trees.

Black mold. It was everywhere. If you click on the image below and look carefully you can still see the waterline. This was the wall behind the kitchen stove which had just been taken out. What is not visible in any of these pictures is the fire damage. I think that many people came back and attempted to live in their homes before restoration or at least spent some time there before making other living arrangements. For whatever reason that seams to have have been the cause of kitchen fires. As mentioned elsewhere both residents we worked in had fire damage around the stove area.

The family has been in and removed some items. We did find some personal belongs and put them aside. Latter that afternoon one of the relatives came by and claimed the pictures and other miscellaneous items you see in the image below.

Here we are after cleaning out most of the debris starting to take off the door trim in preparation for removing the drywall.

We start taking the drywall off.

We are in the bayou here. Note the Spanish Moss hanging from the trees. Spanish Moss has historically been used as fillers for mattresses, pillows, and even G.I. sleeping bags.

We never got an explanation for the marker shown below. It commemorates the creation of a cemetery but there was no cemetery in sight.

You can see the name for the Rev. Francis Balay. He is somewhat of a famous character in the area and I found several web sites with some information about him:
History of the Saints Peter and Paul Church in Pearl River Louisiana (1901-1944)

St Genevieve Church

1 comment:

judyb said...

Many, many thanks to all of you who continue to spend your personal time coming down here to help out rebuild. Your good deeds will never be forgotton.

Slidell resident