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View Full Version : Heard from Calvin today, it's bad, may need our help.



Vernon
08-30-2005, 10:34 PM
Calvin was able to call me today and let us know that they had been able to get out in time and they were safe. He says that they were entertaining friends late Saturday night still unaware that Katrina had grown so strong and was bearing down on them. When they woke up Sunday the news took them by surprise. He says that several of his friends told him that they were tired of leaving town during hurricanes only for nothing to come of it and they were staying. Something told them this was going to be bad and it was time to go. They packed fast and light with only to SC to take them out of town. Their big car has been broke down for a while. So they mainly grabbed extra clothes and headed north fighting the traffic. He said he got my call but the traffic was too bad at the time to answer it. They made it to relatives in Helena Arkansas late Sunday then stayed up watching the news coverage. He was able to listen to his messages today and returned calls. Heís been trying to contact friends left behind and worries about them.

For those of you who donít know Calvinís house is located in Slidel Louisiana, which is located on the north shore of Lake Pontchitrain. Katrina basically went right though town dragging the lake with her. Being that Slidel is above sea level there were no dikes or levees to protect the town from a flood levels in the lake. If youíve seen the news this afternoon youíve probably seen footage from Slidel because thatís where the damage is so dramatic. All you can see is a lake with roofs in it and the tops of large stores. Iím pretty sure his home has had moderate to sever flooding based on everything Iíve seen so far out of Slidel. It took longer for them to cover Slidel because itís basically been out of touch and inaccessible. Now that the storms over itís become obvious that the town is a total loss. Calvin has heard from family close by who are related to a Slidel City Council member, she told them ďthereís bodies floating in the streetsĒ.

Calvin thinks heís probably lost everything he has except for his wife and daughters, a car and some clothes. During this part of the conversation he was starting to crack up so I didnít ask him about home insurance and he didnít mention it either. He canít get back home yet so heís not exactly sure what heíll find. I told him that my family and I will do whatever we can to help them with this and that as soon as he figures out what he needs to let me know and weíll do it. He said he would do that. I also have a large travel trailer that weíre not using right now and told Calvin that if he gets home to find that his house is unlivable I would bring it to him so that they can stay home while they repair the house and get their lives back together. He was thankful and said he would do that if it turns out to be the case.

So heís alive but it looks as if one of our friends is in a world of hurt right now and could stand some help. Calvin is one of us. If you think about it, right now all of his other friends are in the same situation as him or worse. His whole town just got washed away. If heís going to get any serious help itís going to be from the rest of his family or us. Once Calvin is able to get back to his house and assess the situation Iím going to make a trip over there with whatever I can take them that they are in need of. If I take the travel trailer it will be stocked up with food, water, personal needs, propane, etc. If any of you guys will help me with this it would be greatly appreciated. The gasoline alone will be expensive as itís about a 6-8 hour drive under normal conditions. Think about what you can do and Iíll let you guys know when this relief trip is going to happen and how you can help.

Right now they all need our prayers. At least they are still with us. Iíll let you guys know as soon as I know anything new from Calvin.

Vernon

speed95
08-31-2005, 04:57 PM
Vernon let me know what I can do to help.



Chris

Vernon
08-31-2005, 06:29 PM
Thanks Chris, I'll do that.

Vernon

Still Crusin
08-31-2005, 06:32 PM
I can vouch for what Vernon has posted and Calvin has been a long time SC'er. and has hosted us at his house and let a bunch of us Houston area guys bunk at his house before and treated us well.
Thanks for posting that info Vernon as I was wondering too how Calvin and his family were doing and if they made it out of there. As long as I get a little notice, I can probably get away and help out.
It looks like it could be a long while before that area will be habitable again.

Vernon, please pass on that we're thinkin' about him and will do what we can to help him and his family.

J57ltr
08-31-2005, 07:06 PM
Vern we talked about the sistu so you know what's up on my end.

Jeff

blue94sc
08-31-2005, 10:50 PM
Our thoughts a prayers go out to you and Calvin.
Bless you Vernon for going the extra mile for a friend.
Please let us know how we can help.
Tell Calvin we are all behind him!
Peace.
Bill

Vernon
09-01-2005, 08:20 AM
Jeff and I both haven't been able to reach Calvin again, I would imagine he's gone back to see his home and is out of communication. I goggle globed his address last night and my worse fears were realized. When we stayed there I didn't notice but the house was only about a mile from the lake and at 7 ft. elevation. I'm sure it was his because in the satillite photo there were two SC's in the driveway. The white '94, his red '92, and a teal car. It freaked me out at first because I thought it might be Rick's teal '94. But it's probably just someone else. What are the odds. There's not enough detail to be sure. But anyway, his house had to have been submerged.

Vernon

TbirdSCFan
09-01-2005, 11:01 AM
Ground sensing satellites are numerous, but they don't have live feeds to google. Google uses numerous photo archives, so any satellite pictures you see on google are a year or 2 old.

Thanks for keeping us informed.

FearThis SC
09-01-2005, 12:36 PM
Hey Guys,

Thanks for thinking of myself and my family. I left Slidell Sunday morning and drove up I55 to Helena, Arkansas! We left just in time!

My house is a totally wash, a storm surge of 20 feet hit my house, this is from information that I'm receiving from the news! So I really don't know what I will be going back too.

I will keep in touch! I will be leaving in the morning for a day trip to the area to bring in water and food for those that need it.

Please keep those in your thoughts and prayers! GOD SPEED!

Vernon
09-01-2005, 10:03 PM
Guys and Gals of SCCOA who are following this post, I will post a link to The Thunderbird Underground where the latest news and such will be posted. I will answer questions on either board but it would take to much time to transfer everything three times and edit out personal responces to members there, etc.

http://www.tbu.cx/tbu/nfphpbb/viewtopic.php?t=700

Thanks,
Vernon

scott456
09-02-2005, 03:01 PM
Calvin,

I looked on website wwltv.com and clicked airials by zip code I was not able to see my house but was able to see my parents home and these satelite pictures taken 2 days ago, however, it might not show your home my parents live about 4 miles from me and it did not show my house like you live i am not sure if i have a home either b/c i live on the lake in kenner

Scott

focus
09-03-2005, 12:22 PM
Vernon, once Calvin determines what his needs are... let me know and I'll do what I can to help out. Calvin, just let us know, man we're all here for you and in our prayers.

Has there been any news from others in the Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama area hit by Katrina???

Louisiana Neighbors Need Help!!! (http://forums.tccoa.com/showthread.php?p=665110#post665110)

Vernon
09-03-2005, 04:03 PM
To all those who would like to send some immediate relief to Calvin and his family here's the address to send it to:

Calvin or Tiffany Coats
P.O. Box 446
Helena, AR 72342

I will post more details of the conversation soon.

Thanks,
Vernon

Vernon
09-03-2005, 05:18 PM
Hereís the things learned when talking to Calvin this Saturday afternoon.

First off his sister and her boyfriend were able to go to Slidell and look around yesterday. Both her and Calvinís houses are still standing but were flooded during the storm. The water has receded but his had 6 ft of water in it and hers had seen 4 ft. Calvinís house has no major structural damages. He did have homeowners and flood insurance so he will be able to receive insurance and rebuild. Obviously this is good news to hear.

He plans on posting again soon but he has to use the public library for Internet access, as his mother doesnít have it. He asked if he should try to post again and I told him yes, that a bunch of the guys are concerned about them and have wanted to help but we still donít know how. So he said heíll post as soon as he can.

I asked him if had heard of or from Colby Parker and he said he has tried to reach him but canít. He did say that the area Colby lives is Kenner Louisiana near the New Orleans Airport and that area has not flooded so heís probably O.K. but just not able to go home. But as of yet there is no word from Colby, Calvin will keep trying but his phone only works in Mississippi when close to home and the lines are all jammed.

I asked him about using the trailer; he said that he wants to so I will be taking it to them as soon as I can after he can go home. He told me that based on his sisterís experiences going there yesterday itís just not safe. She said house looting wasnít a problem in the Slidell area but gasoline is being fought over and stolen, especially after dark. They had taken a sidearm with them and it was needed to get back home with gas. They had filled up several gas cans and took them but barely had enough to make it back. I donít know what the details were but they took a Camery and those cars should be able to go there and back on a tank. They also took water and food goods with them and passed them out to those in need throughout the trip. She said people were getting violent over gas. Perhaps they gave away some gas also. But once it started getting dark there were fights and gunshots heard often so they didnít feel safe and decided to get out of town. Calvin said ďItís like Mad Max at night and you need to carry a gun.Ē This is our country? So I will keep readying the trailer and preparing for the trip. Calvin said he wants to wait until the power is back on because of the lawlessness after dark. He was able to contact his employer and was told theyíve put all the people affected on administrative leave. He doesnít know if heíll still be getting a paycheck yet so financial help will be needed and appreciated in the time being.

Heís been watching the news and is amazed by whatís going on here in Houston and the rest of the country with the outpouring of help from everyone.

I asked him about the clothes and he said they had enough to get by and they wear odd sized clothes so it would probably not be much good to send him any clothes right now. They are tall and thin.

Finally both Calvin and his wife Tiffany sent their love to me, and all of us who here working on helping them out during this time of their greatest need. I could hear her in the background and they both broke down saying this. I only include this to reinforce that we are doing a great thing here. Iím sure his wife is like mine; she tolerated his Internet time at best and never expected something like this would come out of it. I told them I loved them too and weíre going to keep doing what we can to help them through. Everyone dig deep and do what you can. You never know who will need it next.

Vernon

Vernon
09-07-2005, 12:09 AM
There's no word from Calvin but I'm making all the preparations I can to take him our travel trailer. We got it over yesterday and have been cleaning and working on necessary repairs to get it all ready. I'm taking a crash course on these things and how to hitch them up with all the extra equipment. It turns out the fridge in this one will run on electricity or propane, the hot water heater is gas also. It has two electrical systems 120 and 12 volt. When connected to 120 it will keep the 12volt deep cycle charged. I'm seeing if the battery will keep a charge.

I recieved two checks today to help with expenses, and a paypal thanks guys, this helps. I couldn't do it all wihout it. If anybody else is thinking about helping with this please do. It doesn't have to be a big wad, just few bucks even. If you would like to help with the trailer and trip expenses here's my information.

Vernon Cradier
27102 Azalea Ct.
Magnolia, TX 77354

Paypal: ManicV6Mechanic@wmconnect.com

Well that's all that's happening now. Take care.

Vernon

J57ltr
09-07-2005, 12:13 AM
CAll me now!

Jeff

Still Crusin
09-07-2005, 06:35 PM
Vernon, Jeff
If you need an extra hand to tag along on the trip over there, let me know. If I have enough notice, I can probably get time off work to help out. Or even if you just need more help with prepping the trailer, I might be able to come over and help out.

Also, next time you speak with Calvin, see if he has an idea how long he'll be in Arkansas or if he will have a way to receive financial donations once he leaves AK.

speed95
09-07-2005, 06:40 PM
Same here guys. i will be off till monday so if you need help with the trailer let me know.



Chris

Vernon
09-07-2005, 08:10 PM
Would you guys want to show up Saturday about 10? Mainly for interior cleaning and some minor touch ups to the overall condition.

Anybody got a good portable air compressor? Mine just broke.

Vernon

focus
09-07-2005, 09:00 PM
Vernon, does Calvin have an idea when they are going to let people back in the area... or is Slidell open to people to return now?

Vernon
09-07-2005, 10:15 PM
You can go back, but it's pretty hairy at night. I haven't heard from him since Saturday. Check the post on the TBU for the latest.

About this Saturday, we need a circular saw for a quick cut of plywood. If someone can bring one post up.

Also you can all bring stuff to supply the trailer, groceries, cleaners, toiletrys paper towels, etc. Post what you might bring so we don't get to many of any one thing.

Vernon

Still Crusin
09-08-2005, 12:55 PM
Vernon,
I can probably come up Saturday, but I'll have to bring my boys with me if that is all right.

I also have a mobile compressor I can loan out.

J57ltr
09-08-2005, 01:52 PM
I got a Cicular saw. I'll bring the Mikita (drill).

Gimmie dims on those brackets and hole centers, I forgot them last night.

Jeff

speed95
09-08-2005, 06:35 PM
Im sure I can make it out no problem. What kind of interior cleaning needs to be done? I can get some chemicals to clean it from work just tell me what you need.



Chris

Vernon
09-08-2005, 10:19 PM
For all those who have donated to the cause thank you. It will be put to good use.

Rick, that's fine but my oldest is here but the other two are at their mom's. We'll find stuff for them to do.

Chris, just minor stuff like vaccumming the carpets, cleaning the floors, counters, walls, windows, the lavritory, etc. It's not filthy or anything just a little in need of a refreshing. Calvin's family may be staying in it for a few months so I feel it should be delivered as clean as possible.

Jeff just make some small L brackets with two screw holes on each leg. About 1 1/2" on each side and 1/2" wide. It's not that critical.

Jeff was here last night we looked around and here's the main things. Repack the wheel bearings (4). Sanitize the potable water tanks, a little bleach and water let sit and flush. Pump the tires. Check all the systems. I've already done many things. If we have time we can try to set up the hitch system, it's load distributing with anti-sway. When I've pulled it around here and across Houston I just used the bumper and went but for such a long trip I think it's a good idea to use the equipment that's availiable.

I filled the Propane tanks today, it was not that expensive. Note to self, convert truck to run on Propane.

If you guys have any trouble finding the place call my cell (281)507-9522.

Vernon

Still Crusin
09-09-2005, 02:38 PM
Looks like I should be able to come over Vernon, but it will probably be closer to noon before I can get there.

speed95
09-10-2005, 11:01 AM
Sorry guys got a call this morning that I have to go to work today for a few hours. We had a guy quit and I have to interview a few guys. If it doesnt take to long I will call Vernon and see if everybody is still there working on the RV.



Chris

J57ltr
09-10-2005, 11:03 PM
At least they didn't tell you at 4:30 Yesterday you have to leave for Mississipppi on Monday.

Jeff

We got a bunch done today just got home.

darriantbird
09-11-2005, 11:51 AM
Hey Guys,

Thanks for thinking of myself and my family. I left Slidell Sunday morning and drove up I55 to Helena, Arkansas! We left just in time!

My house is a totally wash, a storm surge of 20 feet hit my house, this is from information that I'm receiving from the news! So I really don't know what I will be going back too.

I will keep in touch! I will be leaving in the morning for a day trip to the area to bring in water and food for those that need it.

Please keep those in your thoughts and prayers! GOD SPEED!
I am very sorry about your misfortune as well as the rest of the people of New Orleans and the rest of the gulf coast that was hit so severely by Katrina. Iam glad to here that you and your family are alright. :)

Doug Franklin
10-06-2005, 03:59 AM
Recently back in USA Vernon. Anything to be done now?