-I think someone said it was
2 miles from a category 5. I guess this is what
they call devastation. I’ve seen on TV other places,
and here I am sitting in it. And you know, I feel all those
folks’ pain through the years. And I guess, when you
live on the coast, there’s a price
to be paid for that. When I —
When I went out of my home, it was about
3:30 yesterday afternoon, and I had the only home
in our two-block neighborhood that was either still there or
didn’t have significant damage. I’ve lived here since 1953, so I know so many
of these people. I was fortunate to be raised by the founding
families of this city. And we’ve got a great spirit. And we’ll be — you know,
we don’t think we will, but we’ll be all right. I got to talk to this guy. Bobby, what have you —
what have we done? -They got my dad. -Did they airlift him? -They picked him up
in the ambulance, and they’re gonna take him to —
-Where are they taking him? -Sacred Heart. -God bless.
-Thank you. -You got it, buddy. I’m so glad that worked out.
Did your mom go? -My mom went with him,
’cause my dad can’t hear. -I know. All right, well,
y’all stay safe. You got it.
I told myself, “When I wake up in the morning, be positive. Have a —
The attitude is everything.” Y’all doing okay? -Yeah, we — we still got
part of a home over there. I lost a bunch of trees
and so forth. -In a situation like this, I’m heartbroken when I see
these people that have lost, absolutely, absolutely,
but levity, I think, is something that can get you
through a tough situation. This is not something
that you wanted to see. And I’m an upbeat guy. -How’s Mama?
-We’re good. We’re hanging in.
Everybody’s hanging in. You okay?
There you go. You got to find some —
find some strength in something. What about Randy? -He’s okay.
-Okay. And I don’t think
that this is something that other places haven’t been
through and haven’t recovered. And, sure, it’s a long process,
and I’m worried about that. I’m worried about stamina
when you’re at this level. I’m worried that,
“Can we get up? Can we go another day?” I believe we can. Gardner, it’s good
to see you again. Al Cathey.
-Yeah, how you doing? -Well, I’ve been better. How widespread is what we have? How far west or east
does this go? -I think this is the worst. I don’t think I’ve seen
anything worse than this. So you’re the worst
by a long shot. Now, I’ve not seen —
-We are ground zero, evidently. Thank you so much. Well, I’m used to dealing with
a pothole along the street. You know, I’m not used to —
Danny? How’d y’all do? [indistinct conversation]
Hey, Bubba. God bless you. -Hey. I think we need to work
on getting your store back up. -I’m trying. I’ve got a tractor trailer
coming that we can — I’m working on it
as hard as I can. -I know you are, I know you are,
but that will help people — the ones that have
still got stuff. -Yeah.
-But we ain’t got much. -I know we don’t, I know
we don’t, I know we don’t. -We’re gonna make it, though. We got each other.
-That’s right, hang in there. -We got each other.
-All right, buddy. Y’all take care.
-Take care. -My dad and I
built this in 1974. Now, when you pull
those nuts and bolts — I mean, those nuts —
out, you may find some boxes of them in there. Oh, there you go.
-24-inch. -We’re gonna just sort of do
the swag method here. That’s a wild-ass guess. That’s all we gonna do on that. Y’all just get what you need,
and we’ll figure it out. Randy! I heard you in the woods
yesterday, buddy. God bless you. Oh, man! -Three of my rooms were left. All my guns, all my clothes.
-Are you kidding me? Randy is one of our employees. He’s got one of
those personalities that just fits in so well, and he’s helpful and he’s big
and he’s strong and he’s — you know,
we sort of tease about, “Well, we don’t really need
a forklift if we got Randy.” But we like Randy,
and we just — I mean, my heart’s broken
for him that — But, hell, he — he found his house
up there in the woods, and he was —
today he was excited. If you need a generator,
you let me know. -I could use one. -You want one tonight?
-It would help. -All right, come on. -We went to bed thinking
it was going to be a 3. We was gonna ride it out. She woke up about 4:00 that
morning, said, “We got to go.” And she had an alarm go off
on her phone, but her phone never went off. So, evidently,
the good Lord woke us up, told us, “Time to go.” And luckily, we did. If not, we’d probably be
in that rubble somewhere. This is the slab
where the house was. This here would be the washroom. This would have been the front
den closet, the living room. We walked in the door
right there. And then upstairs would
have been up yonder. It’s gone.
It’s over yonder. That’s the upstairs,
across the canal. This is my boat. Or was. This is just the —
This is just the top story. This is my side. That’s my neighbor’s bedroom. That over there is
the other neighbor’s bedroom. I’m guessing this is what’s left
of the downstairs — the insulation
and the Sheetrock, so — This is the bedroom.
This is — This is where we was
when she told us to get up. I’m just happy we get
to save our clothes. We were planning on it
just getting flooded downstairs, and we’d have, you know,
everything to wash off and wash. But, I mean,
this is good enough. At least we got some part
of our life that we can pick up
and move on from. I just —
I just really don’t know. All our pictures,
our photo albums — what we can save of them, maybe. Family photos that
can’t be replaced. Memories you don’t think
about until you look at them. Now, I was always one of them —
one that still am — that I couldn’t get —
couldn’t lose nothing. Well, I guess you learn better
when you piss Mother Nature off. Tell her she can’t do something,
she’ll show you. Otherwise, [sniffles]
she [sniffles] — she literally
almost took everything. But I guess she had a heart. She left a little. It’ll show you — ha —
how humble you really are. It’ll never be the same. They’ll rebuild, but it’ll
never be the same. There’s no way. There’s too much loss. There’s no planning nothing. You’re not gonna plan on
going fishing this weekend. You’re not gonna plan on
taking the wife to the movies. You’re not gonna plan on
going out to eat, ’cause that’s nonexistent
right now. You have to plan on trying to
find food now, hot meals, water, home —
put a roof over your head. So, I don’t know, keep on
keeping on is all I can do. Head back in and grab
more stuff. Head back out, load it up. -Are y’all still doing
door-to-door? -We are and we did it
all yesterday. The powers that be want
to make sure that — We did a hasty search
yesterday. “Anybody around,
anybody around?” Now we’re going inside,
especially ones like this and this, and making sure
there aren’t any bodies. So today is more of a primary,
more extensive search. -When I talked to — They were in my neighborhood
yesterday afternoon, and they said
they hadn’t found anything, and it was okay to start
bringing equipment in. -Okay, so, we don’t know — we don’t know if there’s bodies
in the rubble piles along 98. -What times is it?
1:35. Yep, I’m gonna go get
something to eat. I’m gonna get a headache
if I don’t. Light wheat bread for me. -You have a note from Steve — the big fish wanting to know
what he can do. He’s ready.
-Okay. -Betty, come here a second
if you don’t mind. They found a body, and
they’ve shut everything down. I know right where they are. They suspended debris operations
up by the store. They suspect that
they found somebody. -Heavy equipment — we just want
to check this area right quick, is what the local fire chief
said he wanted done right now. So what we’re doing is
we’re gonna check that. -The Bay County Sheriff’s
Office, we heard, was looking for me. Confirmed the interim
city administrator that we had found someone
who was born in ’38. So he was — what?
— 80. They found him
across the street, under a boat. You know, that — I just so hoped
we could avoid that. It would sort of be a,
I think, a miraculous thing to have gone through this
and not had that happen. We can’t just whirlwind
through there. And it’s still dangerous. We got to be careful.
-Mm-hmm. -We gonna salvage what we can and not get hurt.
-Nope. -We’ll figure it out.
-We’ll figure out a way. -God bless.
Thanks. All right, let’s go. We’ll just lock this gate
and get out of here. Whew. I thought I’d worked hard
all my life. I didn’t know I was gonna be
in the position I find myself in,
with our little family business. Wow. You know, you can’t help
but think, at Carol’s and my age, that — we had —
we sort of planned at 71 — you sort of, by then,
you’ve got it planned. And that plan’s not there.
I mean, that — the support of that plan
is now sitting there in rubble. So, at least most people,
I think, if you sort of knew what the plan was,
you could deal with it. We’re still in that,
“What’s the plan?” So that’s, uh —
that’ difficult. But we’ll just have to make it