Dani and I were talking tonight. We wish we could hop in the car, drive to the Gulf Coast, and help. What could we do? We brainstormed. We could make sandwiches. We could boil water. We could watch children so parents would have one less worry. We could pray. And when it comes right down to it, that's ALL we can do. In some ways, that oughta be enough. But in more ways, it doesn't seem like much. Know what I mean?
I was trying to explain to Dani that this wasn't "just another hurricane". This is the worst domestic natural disaster I can remember taking place in my lifetime. "Is it worse than the tsunami?" she asked. I said no. But then, the people in New Orleans and Biloxi and everywhere else along the coast might answer differently.
I can't wrap my simple brain around this devestation. It astounds me. The more stories I hear... the more pictures I see... the more my head swims. How will they rebuild? They've lost everything. EVERYthing. They have no jobs to go to. They have no businesses left. They have no industry to rely on. They have no roads, no vehicles, no power. They have no houses of faith in which to reconnect, pray, seek comfort. They have no income. Where do they go from here? How do they get there??
The worst isn't past. The worst is yet to come.
Gulf Coast families, you have my prayers. You have my tears. You have my word - I will come help. I don't know how or when... but I will help.
edited to add:
This is a first-person account from Rexann, a fellow scrapbooker who lives in Louisiana:
This morning we were listening to WWL...a New Orleans radio and TV station (the only one left able to broadcast! and they are on a skeleton crew of three reporters, a producer and a camera guy!). They are PLEADING for help! My dh is certified in search and rescue and he HAD to go...he just felt like he needed to do something. He got a boat, got a patrol car to pull it with and off he went.
Guys, if you have been watching TV, you are only getting part of the story! In less than four hours, my dh and several other volunteers pulled over 200 people off of roof tops and out of attics. They literally launch their boats off of the interstate exit ramps, ride into an area, turn off their engines and call out, listening for people beating on their attics from the inside. They then go to the house (he said EVERY house had water at least to the eaves!!!) and they literally hack a hole in the roof to get to the people inside. Worse yet...most of those he rescued today were elderly folks...dehydrated, hungry, and exhausted from yelling for help!!!
I still can't hold back the tears as I think of these people. Can you even imagine having to climb into your attic as the only alternative to allowing yourself to drown?! And then realizing you're trapped there unless someone can hear you scream?!! This is reality....this is happening all over the city and around it.
As for New Orleans and the surrounding areas, there will not be any power for over a month...not only are the lines down, the power stations are destroyed...it's like starting from stratch! There are fires everywhere and no way for them to be put out. There is crime happening and in many places the only way for the police to get to these places is by boat.
And, as much as I hate to pass this on, it is true, there are dead bodies floating around! My dh said there is no place to put them yet, they barely have place for the living! There is NO food, NO water and really NO shelter. WORSE...no communications!!! No land lines, no cell towers....
Pray for the workers and police (there have been several officers hurt and shot today!)
and pray for the people - no homes, no jobs, with the athorities saying schools won't start againg for months, power won't be available for weeks and because of the water, they have no clue where to put people! (FEMA usually sets up tent cities but with this situation, there is no place to do this!)
Hug your family tonight, thank God you aren't in an attic listening for a boat, send money to the Red Cross or Operation Blessing and PRAY!