Friday, October 9, 2015

The SC Flood

     I'm dusting off this blog for a couple of reasons.  ONE - I'm more secure about our son joining our family and if his birth family finds this then I hope they enjoy the pictures. TWO - I've missed it, but not the pressure I was putting on myself to post everyday..... so I'm not doing that this time.  THREE - and most importantly my kids pointed out that I have missed documenting some events and they want a record. So I'm starting again.
     We've had a flood in Columbia, a BIG ONE.  It really started last week when we had some rain, and then Hurricane Joaquin moved off the coast and our state got caught between two fronts and then the sky opened up and apparently trillions of gallons fell. I made Alex (used to be Big Al, but now she's in college so I'm using her real name) come home from school because I thought her city would be hit worse...... but we were wrong. We have a lot of low lying areas, but we also have a lot of little lakes, with small dams, that breech or break when trillions of gallons fall from the sky. The picture on the right shows one of these lakes that emptied and flowed down the hill destroying so many homes and businesses.  No joke... water over cars, and up to the ceilings of homes and businesses and sooooo much damage. We were lucky.  Our pond started flowing into our yard, but apparently whatever the problem was it resolved and we were fine.  Sadly our neighbors were not so lucky. Roads are washed out, sand eroded out from under them and huge chunks missing. Our water supply is contaminated and the City/State is working to resolve it as soon as possible, but the reality is this will take months to recover from. If the only inconvenience I have is to turn around on a closed street or boil water (ongoing for days now) to drink water, or deal with being out of school then believe me... my family is blessed.
    Southern hospitality is a very real phenomenon here.  I've watched so many people gather together to try to help each other out.  Not because our politicians have failed, or took too long, but because this is what we do.  We want to help someone who needs it.  We don't care which church is yours, or your ethnicity, or your socio-economic status, we want to help.  Thankfully social media has become a HUGE participant as well.  Facebook pages are everywhere for missing/found animals, specific neighborhoods in need, and up-to-date postings for many organizations having collection spots, or places for folks to volunteer.  One of my friends organized a neighborhood food drive yesterday for the local food bank.  The kids and I went and sat, chatted, collected, made sure our neighbors were okay, and then loaded up the first round of donations (food and financial donations) and delivered them. We raised $300.00 and about 1,000 pounds of food. The kids had a blast.

     Today we joined friends (who happen to be my colleagues) at a local church to volunteer.  This is not our church, but is highly organized and had a list of folks needing help to move out of their apartments.  The lower apartments were flooded, but the upper apartments had to move out too because mold is setting in and the renovations need to begin soon.  Many of the units had their power pulled because of the flooding, and many families were trying to move out as fast as they could.  Moving supplies and food were available to all residents, and a group of about 20 of us were assigned to 3 families.  The first man was ready, and everything went very quickly.  The next lady was still packing so we were trying to put clothes in boxes, move large pieces of furniture and play with her adorable little boy too.  Blondie, our friend, and I left after that house because we needed to return home, but Cheesie and the Boy stayed to help the last person.  She was the widow of a soldier killed in Iraq and really seemed to touch the hearts of my two youngest.  They were very impressed with her story and strength. We have two more days to help others, and I'm sure we will work to find something to do.  I'm a little worried that we are supposed to get another 1.5 inches of rain tomorrow, but hopefully it only happens in a few areas.  I'm still crossing fingers that the coastal cities don't become overwhelmed with the rivers overloaded this weekend.  We aren't out of this yet, but we are doing okay.

Above:  Waiting for the adults to finish furniture tetris at a storage unit, the boys were lying on the asphalt while the girls sat on the stairs singing.  They really worked hard all day.

No comments: