On the celebration side of the equation, the alterations to the plumbing inside New Haven and the small expansion--the one made up of shipping containers--is complete. The hard part is done, which I'm told was digging up and altering a lot of the old pipes and whatnot, but I now have running water in my house. From what I understand a very basic delivery system is being designed and built as needed for all further expansion sections. People will have to muddle through while that work is being done.
That's right, I haven't mentioned the other news. We got that big load of prefab pieces of wall in a few days ago. Along with it came a good number of workers--about forty--to begin installing them along the areas we've put in support posts. As of this writing about five hundred feet of new wall is standing. It looks rough since the shipping containers North Jackson cut up to make the sections were all different colors and some of them fairly rusty, but it's beautiful. Nothing like sections of sheer steel wall soon to house new arrivals to make you feel a little hope for a brighter tomorrow.
A smaller group of people are rounding up materials from all over the county and beyond to make the houses in the current expansion more comfortable. Since the plumbing won't be set up for running water right away, they're trying to find storage for rainwater (or some filtered river water if we have to pump and haul it there.) We'll be digging cisterns and small reservoirs, of course, as we've done in New Haven proper, but it's nice to have as much capacity to store water as possible.
On top of that, we're having to haul in beds, blankets, and all manner of things our new arrivals will need. The next group arriving from NJ will have many of their own supplies, but I'm sure there are people who have had to do without. We'll have the wall finished around their expansion (or nearly so) by the time they arrive, so at least we don't have to go about zombie-proofing houses. That's a plus. The only real snag is that there are more coming in the first large group than would be comfortable in the housing available. Dave is tackling that problem, but that's for another post.
All that is worth celebration, and definitely a drink. But the other half, the forgetting...
Some of the Louisville crew that escaped the slaughter outside the walls the other day didn't get far. Some of them ended up getting bitten and turned to zombies. Others looked to have died from their sickness before they could get out of the county. The twelve New Haven citizens taken captive and subsequently released by the Louisville folks took up the task of...
I was going to say something like "cleaning them up" or some other euphemism, but misguided or not these folks were our allies.
Our temporarily exiled citizens, living outdoors to keep from vectoring the disease they may be carrying, killed those poor people. Yes, they had turned into zombies, but that doesn't make it any easier to know that former friends are dead. Twice.
Worse, there were a few survivors. Not many, just a handful, and not sick enough to be on the verge of death. They were hunkered down out in the woods, trying to come up with a plan to get over the wall and into New Haven. We know this because one of our exiled scouts was sitting up in a tree above the place the group came to rest. He heard the whole conversation, which he repeated to us via walkie-talkie. Thank god for rechargeable batteries and the forethought to put communications devices in the packages we leave for our exiled citizens.
That handful are no longer a threat. Their attempt to infiltrate New Haven can't become a reality. Desperate people will do stupid things, as I've said a lot lately.
I want to thank our people living rough for protecting us in so many ways. By keeping away, you're protecting us from the virulent disease that may yet claim your own lives. By doing what you had to do without hesitation, you've stopped those stragglers from Louisville from making your own sacrifice meaningless. It was a hard choice. I've made similar ones myself.