Fla. family recovers bonds lost in storm

Published: Thursday, February 1, 2007 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, February 1, 2007 at 12:00 a.m.

PENSACOLA — A packet of U.S. savings bonds, washed out of a house destroyed during Hurricane Ivan more than two years ago, was found and returned to its owner.

Jan Meade and her husband, Timothy, a Fort Walton Beach attorney, received the bonds Tuesday after they were found by two people on the shoreline of East Bay, the Pensacola News Journal reported.

The Meades fled their home in Navarre just before Ivan struck on Sept. 16, 2004. When they returned the next day, they found the back half of their house had been blown out and almost all of their possessions gone or in ruins. Damage was so severe that the house was torn down.

"I had been buying a few savings bonds every now and then for some time, and they were in the house," Meade said. "I really didn't know how to replace them. I just thought they were gone forever."

On Saturday, Trudie Childers and her 75-year-old mother, Claudie Tolbert, spotted a plastic bag as they walk along the beach.

"When I pulled it out, it looked like just one bond wrapped in plastic," Childers said.

But when she got home, she saw many more and hung them on a clothesline to dry.

When she returned to work Monday, Childers, an employee of Holley-Navarre Water System, checked the water department's computers to locate Meade. She then called to say she'd found the bonds.

Jan Meade greeted Childers with a hug and tears when she reclaimed the bonds, estimated to be worth about $1,000.

She called Childers, "an angel on earth," and said she would put the bonds in her bank's safety deposit box.

The savings bonds were found two years after Hurricane Ivan struck.

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