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    Hurricane Rita VS Prayer

    Rita Thank you so much for all of your prayers and e-mails. Rather than answer all of them individually I have made this web page detailing what I like to call Hurricane Rita vs the Power of Prayer.

    Since I am running off of a generator right now I have to make the story quick for now. Its either the computer or some freezers and I have limited amount of gasoline and the power may be off for over a week out here in rural deep East Texas... So as soon as I finish this webpage I have to turn off the computer anc connect the freezers and refrigerators to the generator.

    Hopefully I can update you later with more details and pictures.

    Hurricane Rita Visits the Reluctant Messenger

    Hurricane Rita started out as a hurricane headed for Houston and Galveston but ended up heading directly for my house. At the last minute I sent out request for prayers from my friends worldwide using the reluctant messenger emails lists. This was the final action item after 5 days of frantic preparation for possible hurricane force winds arriving at my doorstep.

    Preparations:

  • Monday 9/19: Driving to Jasper TX (45 miles away) for a generator, gasoline cans, extra gasoline, food supplies and lumber.
  • Tuesday 9/20 - Thursday 9/22: Repairing a 30 year old pier that probably couldn't handle hurricane force winds
  • Thursday 9/22: Getting generator to work.
  • Friday Morning 9/23: My wife and I spend the entire morning bracing carport using spare lumber.
  • Friday Afternoon 9/23: Special thanks to my friend Russell for suggesting it and Reggie for providing the ropes and know how to tie the carport down using special sailor knots.
  • Friday Afternoon 9/23 : Moving boat from Marina to in front of my house and installing boat cover. (Thanks to Reggie also)
  • Friday Night 9/23: Sending out Prayer request.

    Prayer Request Sent out via e-mail September 23, 2005 -- Friday Night 10:30 CDT

    Prayer request

    I am requesting prayers for myself and my family. We live right in the path of hurricane Rita on the border of TX and LA. We live about 25 miles south of Hemphill Texas on Toledo Bend Lake, which is about 150 miles inland from the coast. Current predictions have the eye coming in at Port Arthur and going north and then stalling right where we live for 12 to 18 hours.

    I am requesting that you pray for the safety of my family and my property. I have done everything I can to safe guard my property but I now want to divinely safeguard it. This is where you come in. I need your prayers. It is already getting bad here. Across the street from me a huge oak treee just blew down and smashed the house next to it.

    I am sending this out to my email brothers and sisters and asking for prayers of protection for my myself, my neighbors, my property and the essential infrastructure that makes our community thrive.

    God bless you. The electricity has been going out a lot so I don't know when I will get back on.

    Stephen Boston aka Chester

    The results of your prayers.

    The Hurricane actually followed the Sabine River all the way to our house. Gusts of Tropical force winds hit Sabine County starting around 9:00 PM Friday Night and ended around 2:00 PM Saturday Afternoon. Hurricane force wind arrived around 11:00 PM Friday Night and ended around 11:00 Am Saturday Morning. After about 29 minutes the eye passed and Hurricane force winds started again for at least another hour and a half.

    I took pictures with my digital camera of the aftermath of Hurricane Rita in my neighborhood including my house front and back. Click on the picture for a supersize view.

    Front of the House view from lake
    Front of the House view from lake

    Back of the House view from road
    Back of the House view from road

    As you can see your prayers for my family and property were answered. Thank you very much.

    The Destruction Around Me

    After the hurricane, the entire region was littered with fallen trees. These pictures show just how powerful the winds were in my area. There are literally dozens and dozens of houses like this just in my subdivision. These pictures are of just the houses next door to and across the street from where my wife and I live.

    Next Door

    Neighbor South of Me
    Neighbor south of me had his beautiful huge Silver maple fall into the street in front of the house. Behind the tree is a boat. the tree landed between the pickup truck and the boat hitting neither one. The boat trailer was crushed where the tongue meets the hitch. If I had waited 30 minutes to take this picture you wouldn't have seen the tree across the road. They were out using chain saws to clear it from the road before the winds had died down! In fact the whole communitty (locals and evacuees) were out in force, everybody helping everybody. It was a great sight!

    Two Houses Down

    Neighbor South of Me 2 houses down

    Neighbor South of Me 2 houses down

    My Neighbor two houses south of me had this head scratcher of a problem in his front yard. When his giant hardwood tree fell over, the root system raised the cement driveway and the truck on it until the truck was on its nose. It drove away less than an hour later when the local water dept used its back hoe to lift the back end off the slab of concrete and swing it over. Minor damage to the truck's trailer hitch and rear bumper.

    Three Houses Down

    Neighbor South of Me 3 houses down

    Neighbor South of Me 3 houses down

    Neighbor South of Me 3 houses down

    Neighbor South of Me 3 houses down

    The tree that made the truck stand on its nose fell on a car port, 2 cars and a jeep next door. I was at this family's Super Bowl party this last February. Really nice people. Fortunately no one was hurt.

    Four Houses Down

    Neighbor South of Me 3 houses down

    Directly Across the Street

    Directly Across
    Barely missed the house!

    Across the Street and to my Left

    Across and to the left
    Brand new house maybe 3 months old. This backhoe/front end loader had just been aquired by the local water dept. It came in handy all over the place.

    Across the Street a little farther South

    Across and to the left south another house

    Across the Street and to my Right

    Across and to the right
    Across and to the right
    This is the house that had the first tree to fall. One tree fell around 10 PM Friday night at the start of the heavy winds and another tree fell from the other side the next day when the winds came at the community from the other side after the eye of the storm had passed. This house was fortunately empty.

    Just a little further down the road

    Across and to the right
    Almost every house in my subdivision had a tree fall over it or into it. My next door neighbor lost seven trees. All we had at our house was fallen limbs. Fortunately, as far as I know, no one was hurt in my neighborhood.

    Sat 9/24/05 I have a lot more pictures and stories to tell but I'm afraid if I don't switch the generator over to the refrigeratrors and freezers the milk might sour.

    Once again I thank everyone who prayed for my family and property.




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  • Protecting Home and Health: Disaster Preparedness
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  • Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Response Association Reference Library and Archives
  • US Dept of State Crisis Awareness and Preparedness
  • PrepareNow.ORG Earthquake Disaster Planning and Response
  • International Disaster Planning Links and researches Worlwide
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