Ruckle has become a sort of drive-through visit to a zone of devastation. A self guided driving tour appears to be taking place. Residents see a continuous stream of the curious slowly wending their way through the streets to see what they can.
As you drive through Ruckle and survey the damage what you see are piles of debris at the roadside on the edges of disheveled yards. And houses that appear, for the most part, intact and okay.
Well they are not okay – far from it. And Ruckle resident Marty Menzies would like you to know that the inside of those houses is the exact opposite of the outside. That many are little pieces of hell for the owners – especially the older folks and those who have been abandoned by their insurance companies. Marty asked me to come down and take a little visit inside one of these places so we can show you what they look like.
The first video is a short 360 degree video – you can choose which direction you want to look at any time. I make mention of a fridge being put in its strange location and setting by the water – I don’t know that for a fact but it’s happened with many appliance and other things all over the place.
The second is a more conventional one with Marty explaining the how and why of what you see.
While the emergency was taking place there were many volunteers filling and placing bags of sand to help fight against the water. Some of that took place in Ruckle but shortly into the emergency Ruckle was isolated legally as well as physically. Those who stayed to save their homes were faced with not being able to return if they left. Marty tells a bit of that from his perspective in the video below.
Now that the emergency is over a lot of the people who lived in those places find they are facing what appears to be a daunting, if not insurmountable, task of clean-up. And until Samaritan’s Purse or others show up, they are feeling pretty alone. Once the purse has done their job the owners are are left to face the rest. For many it’s bad – for some it’s feels like the end.
Sitting in the parking lot of the credit union I watched as an elderly man left the insurance agent. He had a piece of paper in his hand. As friends rode by on their bicycles they noticed him and came over to talk. From a distance it was easy to see he’d probably had the bad news that his insurance wasn’t going to cover his losses. And it was also easy to see that he was pretty shook up by it all.
In this time people are devastated and, just like when a loved one dies, unable to process information correctly or think straight. Making choices and decisions seems to be too much for them. Even doing simple arithmetic can escape some. And as Marty observed, a lot of the older people are hamstrung by an ethos that shies away from asking for help even though they likely need more than others. Please consider this in any dealings or interactions with them and be patient and understanding.