And so it begins

So begins one of the 3 day weekends we have been looking forward to for 3 full hot months. The heat has been relentless here in Tennessee. The leak we discovered 3 weeks ago is repaired and the damaged floor is finally being replaced after having to smell it throughout the house that long.

How trivial is that? While we work, the TV is set to Fox, then CNN, and back to see if there’s information one is covering and the other not. I can’t turn it off. I feel so useless. Our church is affiliated with IDES, the International Disaster Emergency Serivce. We can drop a check in the plate and designate it to IDES. It feels tidy and aloof. Maybe I’ll have another opportunity. This clean-up and restoration will take a long time.

I am so grieved to see the pain and suffering the survivors of Katrina are enduring. “Stench” can’t cover the actual level of intolerable smell in the stadium and in the streets. Husbands and children watched helplessly as wives and mothers were dragged off to be savaged by thugs. 9/26/05: Not confirmed. Rescuers being shot at (shot at? You mean the bad guys have guns and the husbands don’t?). Rescuers being shot at. Who would shoot someone bringing food?

The protocol of responsibility: Local, county, state, federal. Nevertheless, the rescue teams, including FEMA, correction on 9/9/05: The Red Cross (denied entrance by the state govmt) were at the ready in advance of the storm and waiting for the storm to clear. Is it logical to send in help before the storm hits and become one of the blown away? It was not possible in the beginning to know the magnitude of the aftermath. Looting, shooting. Local police were turning in their badges rather than get shot at by the very people they were trying to help. Not all of them. Give me a break.

Some local radio stations in the Knoxville area banded together to rent Peterbilt 16 wheelers and sat in WalMart’s parking lot while people ran inside to buy bottled water. There wasn’t room on the trucks for all of the donations. One of the DJs (Dave Foulk) drove as far as the barricades. Finally, this morning, help is allowed inside. Choppers are there. Food and water are there. Keep it coming. Hopefully there will be no more chaos, no more shootings.

The president was outlining the continued and now accelerated efforts from the Rose Garden this morning. The need has not been this great since we were attacked by Al Qaida on 9/11. Individuals, churches, charitable organizations, and all levels of government, especially the White House, are generously coming through with compassion. As President Bush turned to go back in, someone shouted “Why did it take you so long?”

What a jerk. The LA governor and New Orleans’ mayor screwed up and actually prevented FEMA from helping.



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