I woke up at dawn Monday to meet up with the teams assembling to check homes for structural damage and potential occupants who stayed behind (and sincerely hoping not to come across any DOA's). (I had gone out with them Sunday as well, but Monday we went to a much harder hit area. So Sunday will the the missing day from this series of posts.) Because these areas are still on lockdown, going in with these strike teams gives us the first look at the damage, a day before the areas are opened up for residents to come back and begin the long process of cleaning up.
A search and rescue dog went along with each team. Talyn was pretty much the coolest dog ever.. he kept depositing sticks at our feet, waiting for us to throw them. The team members would do a search of the perimeter of the house, looking through windows to check on the floor before they would decide to force entry into the home. Electric and gas company workers were also part of the team, making sure utilities were shut off at each house.
Homes marked with an X are safe to reenter. Homes with a box and a line are unsafe.
At C Street SW, the water was too high for the team to continue working. Until a block is dry, they can't tell if the homes are safe or not. While not knowing the status of their home is incredibly frustrating for the residents, these teams are doing what they can to ensure that returning to the homes is safe. Several homes have lost parts of their foundation, or parts of their floor, so those homes aren't being cleared for reentry.