Hurricane Zeta - October 28, 2020
UPDATE: We hired Parker Contracting and the tarp went up on Nov 8 on both the Hall and the Tin Shed. The trees were cut down and up and are still piled on the street. Bay Saint Louis has roofs blown off, fences down, trees down everywhere. We took a big hit from Zeta. And the rebuilding has started. The roof was not up to code because it was done after Katrina when things were moving fast to return to normal so we are waiting to see what the insurance will allow - we know our deductible will be at least $12k instead of the $2500 we signed up for and we know that the entire roof needs to be brought up to code and there is a cap with the insurance company of $10k for code work. So we are waiting and we are collecting any and all donations to get the Hall back up and functioning.
On October 28, 2020, Hurricane Zeta made landfall in Cocodrie, LA. Residents of Bay Saint Louis, MS were bracing for possible heavy winds and rain, but woefully unprepared for the powerful 104 MPH sustained winds the Category 3 hurricane produced. After all, the 2020 Hurricane Season was coming to a close on November 30th. The 100 Men Hall had been closed since March 2020 due to the pandemic and was planning its first outdoor event on November 13th. The Tin Shed had just been completed in July 2020, and the porch and its surrounding canopy of trees was ready to welcome Cedric Burnside and Alvin Youngblood Hart for an evening of Blues and BBQ - a much needed respite from pandemic life and a badly needed injection of revenue for the Hall, the musicians, and Chef Chris Hayes.
The first band of the hurricane was due to arrive at 5:15PM. Instead at 4:15PM, the winds picked up and heavy bands of rain began. Within hours, trapped inside the interior room of the residence behind the Hall, I heard the equivalent of a freight train gunning for the Hall, shaking the walls and roof, and saw 20+ foot lumber flying through the air like sheets of paper. Water was gushing in through the back doors, fierce wind was howling inside and out, and the interior doors were rattling as if coming off their hinges. The lights were flickering and then went dark.
When the noise and shaking stopped, my neighbors, Daniel Thibodeaux and Chase Neelis called and said, "Rachel, I think the Hall's roof is gone." I ran outside in the pitch dark and that is when I first saw the damage. Trees were split in half, the roof on the Tin Shed was mauled, half the roof on the Hall was gone, and the deck in back had been pulled up like a sardine can.
The next morning the damage was overwhelming - insulation was stuck to every vine, tree, surface and grass remaining; the Hall's tin roof was spotted in the Depot area, behind St. Rose church and in other parts of town. The Tin Shed had a tree on the roof, a tree through the porch, the landscaping had been ravished, the ligustrum pulled up by its roots, fence panel down, the letters of 100 MEN DBA in the front gable broken and scattered in front yard, the back gable gone completely, and the age old willow tree was stripped of every single leaf.
Naturally, growing up in this area, the first thing I thought was "It could have been worse."
The next day was spent cleaning the interior that was covered with soot and insulation. Then the following day, Cliff Kenwood brought two large tarps from New Orleans, Ed Madden brought his chainsaw, Chris and Candice Hayes brought brooms and shovels. Phil Meseke, Martin Chambers, Kandice Gunning brought their grit and grace.
Ann Madden posted photographs on FB and Church Goin Mule posted a giveaway on Instagram and the outpouring of love has been overwhelming. Thankfully, earlier in the year, a pandemic SBA loan and a earlier pandemic fundraiser had given us the necessary funds to pay our annual insurance and add the Tin Shed to our policy. Sadly though, I learned our $2500 deductible is actually over $11k because Zeta was a named hurricane - a new twist by the insurance company post Katrina.
What now? We begin the long haul of rebuilding and repairing the Hall, a landmark building that has withstood the likes of Hurricanes Camille and Katrina, and will withstand Hurricane fZeta, but not without a little help from our friends. There is still much needed to fix our beloved landmark. Please help us and get the word out:
Here are the ways to donate to the 100 Men Hall Roof Raising Fund:
PayPal - 100MenHall@gmail.com
Venmo - Rachel-Dangermond
Mail a check to:
100 Men Hall
303 Union Street
Bay Saint Louis, MS 39520
The 100 Men Hall is a 501c3 federal nonprofit. Any donation over $250 will be acknowledged and may be tax deductible.
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Before you look at the photos - here is a silver lining: the Mural is intact! A new roof is hopefully coming. The bead board ceiling is keeping the Hall safe for now.
Drone footage of Hall roof from Steve Lindsay
Photo of Hall Roof by Ann Madden
The Tin Shed before Zeta - photo by Ann Madden
The Tin Shed right after Zeta - photo by Daniel Thibodeaux
The Tin Shed the day after Zeta - photo by Ann Madden
Tin Shed bar and teak furniture - photo by Daniel Thibodeaux
Hole in the Tin Shed porch
The deck in back - photo by Daniel Thibodeaux
Tractor shed and back gable gone - photo by Daniel Thibodeaux
Hall windows blown out - photo by Daniel Thibodeaux
Hall windows next day - photo by Ann Madden
100 MEN DBA Lettering broken and missing, marquis stripped off wall
Front porch of Hall column moved
Driveway fence panel down
Ligustrum planted post Katrina unearthed