Good morning, y’all. I feel Spring is officially here. I am holding in reserve the right to change my opinion should April bring its occasional snowstorm. Looking out over TackyToo from the office here in the Rec room, it is rejuvenating to see the buds starting to pop through the ground. It is fun to watch the birds flitting about. It looks like they’re getting ready to start building nests and start families. Circle of life, as they say.
It is sadly ironic that the life giving force of rain can be life taking as well. I’m watching the news from the Southwest, specifically around Shreveport, Louisiana, and the folks there have really been up against it. It is hard to imagine what twelve inches of rain will do to an area. I guess if we watch the TV, we don’t have to imagine. Whole towns are flooded. Just everything is under two to three feet of water, and it’s not like these are folks are not used to flooding. Most of them experience it to a degree every year. This is just another one of those “five hundred year” storms, that are now occurring every few years. It seems to me that the only way to get used to the new normal is to move. I know the folks there don’t want to do that.They are fiercely loyal to the area.
As I mentioned before, I used to travel the Southwest area and I’m familiar with the “Spring rains”. I’ve actually been trapped in Bossier City because Interstate 20 was flooded, same as it is now. My entrapment was an overnight stay, this rain looks far more serious. Currently, they are using the big military vehicles to evacuate people all around the Shreveport area. I watched a sad scene of young parents going back into their flooded house to retrieve a bunch of little girls dresses. The dresses were on hangers, and I guess hanging high enough in the closet to have not been soaked by the flood waters. The dresses looked like they would fit a two year old.
It’s amazing how such a simple scene as the parents with the dresses personalizes the tragedy so much more than aerial shots from a helicopter. Even though we know that the hundreds of flooded houses we see held thousands of people who are now displaced, seeing the young couple retrieve the dresses for their daughter really brought it home to me. It is one of those scenes where you just want to jump in your car and drive to the area to see what you can do. I realize I would be serving no purpose by showing up in Caddo Parrish, “ready to serve”. There are already legions of young, well trained personnel in the area, and considering my advanced years and general health, I might just add to their burden.
My arrival on the scene wouldn’t even have the psychological impact as the Duke students arriving in New Orleans after Katrina. The Duke students were responding to the knowledge that help was not getting to the people of Louisiana, specifically New Orleans, and they took it upon themselves to do what they could. They took off from Durham and drove straight through to prove that the roads were not impassable. In fact, their biggest obstacle was the military keeping folks out. They fooled the military into letting them through by using press passes. I guess if they had Red Cross passes they would have been turned away.
Anyway, while the flooding is as catastrophic, the response from the federal government has been night and day different. There was helped dispatched immediately and it looks like emergency services are far better trained than in the Katrina days. I guess “practice makes perfect”, and the folks dealing with flood waters have had plenty of practice. From Minnesota to the Gulf Of Mexico, folks along the Mississippi and its tributaries are exposed to the threat of losing everything to the rain. Johnny Cash lived it and wrote about it. I’ll let him tell it: