There is growing angst in my area about the lack of coverage the flooding is getting (see this article from Dallas http://www.dallasnews.com/news/headlines/20160815-between-trump-talk-and-milwaukee-protests-we-are-ignoring-human-devastation-in-louisiana.ece ). Understand, multiple parishes (that’s our quaint-ish way of saying counties) got hammered with roughly 20 inches of rain in about 48 hours. A state capital is seriously impacted. Portions of several interstates were – and in some cases still are -closed, sometimes with people trapped for so long that helicopters were trying to drop MREs to the people so they could eat. Not to sound like a broken record but this is a big damn deal. But since CNN, Fox, et al can’t be bothered to share, I figure I will.
Don’t get me wrong. We’re lucky. We are so lucky. Our roof leaked. Big deal. Sure, paying for a roof is going to suck. But our home is otherwise intact, our toys, clothes, mementos dry and unsoiled. But no one in my region is untouched by this thing. We all have dear friends, family, colleagues that have suffered unimaginable loss. The state government- my employer- has been shuttered for 2 days and counting. My daughter’s school – where she got to spend 2 whole days as a first grader with her wonderful new teacher- is closed for at least this week. The school board doesn’t know when school will resume. The figure I saw this morning said that 17 out of 73 schools flooded, at least 6 badly. At least 30% of school personnel had significant loss, meaning it would be some time before they would be able to return to work. And again, as a parent who can work, how can you when you have young children to manage?
Every part of town is impacted even if it wasn’t. Felix has another ear infection. What would normally be a quick in and out took an hour and a half; the pediatrician’s office was missing over half of its staff. Filling the script was another problem. I tried 2 pharmacies. While open for business, the pharmacists were not on premises. Trying to call other pharmacies was difficult, as many cell phone calls are still not going through. Will finally camped out at a CVS for over an hour, only to find out they did not have the anabiotic we needed. At long last, we got Felix’s medicine at a fourth stop. I just saw a Facebook post that indicated that gas is starting to run out. With the aforementioned interstate closures, gas stations and stores are having a hard time being resupplied.
Speaking of Facebook, as a dear friend and colleague – who also lost her home to the water- so eloquently put it: Mark Zuckerberg ought to win a Nobel Prize. Facebook has been a lifeline, broadcasting who is missing, who has boats and where they’re launching (our own Cajun Navy), who has or needs what supplies. Facebook – not the national media. Chew on that.
We do get it. This was an unnamed storm. You can’t whisper reverently about it the way you can Katrina. There aren’t protestors with catchy slogans. It’s just water. Dirty, dingy, destructive water. But 20,000 rescued by boat? Call me a cynical bitch. That ought to rank a headline. It ought to rank a lot of headlines, because once the water recedes, a dirty foul-smelling damage path will remain. And it will be extensive. And it will persist.
I’d like to close with something other than bitching. My city and state are amazing. We don’t get some things right, but we can take care of business when the shit hits the fan. Watching the Facebook chatter last night, I felt so proud. Shelters were turning away volunteers because there were too many. Some had too much food. I don’t know anyone who hasn’t helped someone out in some way, whether by gathering supplies, providing meals, shelter, rides, or putting whatever kind of boat – bass, bateau, kayak- into the water to help ferry a person or whatever belongings they could save. That being said, we’re going to need help and support for quite a while. The sprint portion is winding down. The marathon hasn’t started yet.
With that I shall rejoin my children and day 5 of Togetherness, pacing anxiously with nowhere to go and nothing to do to help. Send wine and gin and activities. We’re shrinky-dinked, kinetic sanded, and snapchatted out.
P.S. Sorry if the formatting sucks. I’m stuck blogging on my phone and either it or WP is being a butt.