"No matter how rich you become, how famous or powerful, when you die the size of your funeral will still pretty much depend on the weather." Michael Pritchard
Please keep my friends in Lumberton, NC, in your thoughts and prayers My hometown is underwater and without power. It may take a week to restore power in some areas. Over 1,000 people were stranded and are being rescued by boat crews. Many of the stories I've seen on the major network news shows have focused on the poorer neighborhoods, but from what I understand many of the homes in a couple of the nicer communities have 5 feet of water in them. Few have been spared from the damage.
Makes you kind of wonder about the grand scheme of things. Lumberton is the county seat of Robeson County, one of the poorest counties in the nation. Any list of negative community issues you see will probably have Robeson County somewhere in the Top 10.
The event sets up some interesting questions/thoughts; some of which are based on faith...nor not:
1. Some of my more literal-thinking friends might ask, "What did RobCo do to deserve this?" Things were already incredibly difficult for a lot of folks.
2. "Why would God do this to us?" Good question. Followed by, "What's God trying to tell us?" And then, "Is God punishing us and, if so, what'd we do?"
3. "Why didn't someone plan for this possibility?"...another good question...
4. "What can we learn from this?"
5. "Who will help us?"
6. "What's next?"
Here's my stab at answering some of them
1. RobCo didn't do anything to deserve what happened; that's a knee-jerk, emotional response.
2. God didn't do this--if He/She/IT did it at all--to punish anyone or teach a lesson (other than, if you live near a river in an area blessed with hurricanes every year you'll get some flooding). I'm about as far from a Bible-thumper as you can get, but I can tell you that whatever that Spirit is that's out there--if you believe in IT--doesn't do things to punish us. IT's all about good.
3. If you have a highly-paid group of county commissioners who squabble and can't come to decisions about things that really matter it's hard to...do things that really matter. Also, if your county is one of the poorest in the country it's highly likely that the resources to create an infrastructure that can withstand what hit RobCo won't be available on the local level nor allocated on the state or federal level until it's too late.
4. See Answer #2 above...if you live in low-lying areas and it rains this is what happens. That sounds cold-hearted, especially to folks who can't afford to move, but it's a fact.
5. You, your neighbors, RobCo folks who left but will return to help...to some degree the state and feds. The key to the state and fed money, though, will be to watch it very closely when, or if, it does show up.
6. Two news areas to watch: In 48 hours you won't see any more stories in the national news. The silliness of the election will continue to overwhelm the media and there will be the usual murders/carwrecks/disasters-on-the-other-side-of-the-world that will dominate the news. In a week you'll see very few in local/regional news. A year from now someone will do a retrospective to show how people have or have not recovered. Locally, some folks will rebuild, some won't be able to rebuild and they'll live with what they have left. Some will move.
Considering the economic situation in RobCo the bigwigs won't pay much attention to it as time moves on. To the big boys and girls the damage in Lumberton is not 9/11. But, what we need to remember is that to the people who live in Lumberton, to the people of Godwin Heights, Tanglewood, East Lumberton, North Lumberton, and South Lumberton, this IS a 9/11 event.
Here's what we need to consider: Right now emergency teams from the National Guard, power companies, EMTs, DOT, and other government agencies are focused on RobCo and, especially, Lumberton, in order to get the area back to minimal levels of power and living conditions. When a lot of us need to get involved is when the teams leave. A month from now those of us who are Lumbertonians and are living outside the area need to come together to see what needs to be done and how we can help.
Again, keep these folks in your thoughts and prayers. Go Pirates.