Sep 12

And that is the important thing, right? Everything else pales into insignificance.

Our house was damaged by Hurricane Isaac, although I don’t even know if it was still a hurricane when it hit us or whether it had been downgraded to a tropical storm by then. Actually I say the house was damaged, but that’s not strictly true.

In four different places rain has made its way inside the house and stained the beautiful, nice clean paint job I spent nine months on. Two of those were in my daughter’s bedroom and came from two different places: one through the weatherboards on the east-facing side, and one down the outside of the chimney that I think entered through a new hole in the roof. This afternoon I am going to put a fifth coat of paint on the wall where the chimney is, as despite the copious amount of white I’ve slapped on already, the large yellow mass is still mocking me.

We were breached in two areas downstairs as well, one in the living room and the other in the dining room. The living room stain seeped in from the front of the house somewhere, nothing obvious but there is a gap somewhere. I did however find the space which caused it to rain in the dining room on that same east wall, and the culprit was a piece of siding with the edge peeled up. So our home probably wasn’t really damaged, more accurately the fierce wind drove water through holes that were already there.

We spent two nights at our friends’ bed and breakfast a block away, but I kept nipping home to check on the house, and it’s as well I did. Drips were pooling on the living room floor and I was going to leave dealing with it until after the bad weather passed, but then I heard that the slow-moving storm was hanging around for 10 hours, and I didn’t want water running down my inside walls and staining my new (ish) paintwork for that long.

So I took the brave / foolhardy decision (depending on your viewpoint) to borrow a ladder and attempt to repair the offending piece of wood. I wouldn’t recommend it. Even being perched just 12 feet in the air is scary in those strong winds, especially when you are something of a DIY idiot like myself. It worked though, the gap was somewhat sealed and the rain stopped coming into my house. I guess I got away with it.

The outside needs to be repaired and repainted, especially on that side of the building that seems to take the brunt of the wind, rain and sun. I was intending to start work on it this month anyway, although Isaac beat me to it I guess. At least I know where the holes are – well, some of them at least.

But my family and friends are safe, and with this storm hitting seven years to the day after Katrina it was a pertinent and poignant reminder that that is all that is important. Trust me. Some Louisianians outside New Orleans were not so lucky and I feel for them.

Here’s hoping Isaac is the last storm of the season, and I wish you a quiet and uneventful rest of hurricane season.

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