We’re counting our blessings this week as we share in the sorrow of thousands of Texas residents who have suffered damage to or loss of their homes and businesses, or have been forced to leave their communities because of unrelenting rain and floods.
Once again, we feel fortunate to live in Maine where hurricanes are infrequent and, when they do occur, are usually far less devastating thanks to our cool ocean waters which don’t tend to attract hurricanes. They’re all capable of doing a lot of damage, to be sure, but cooler waters give us protection.
It’s hard to comprehend what has been going on in Texas since this past weekend. High winds have torn apart structure after structure, taken down telephone poles, signs and trees, overturned vehicles and sunk boats. Some communities close to the eye of the storm have suffered irreparable damage. As one FEMA spokesman said, “We’re going to be in Texas for years.’’ It was good news to see that President Trump declared the area a disaster zone before the hurricane even occurred, paving the way for faster response teams.
What’s especially difficult for most of us to understand about Hurricane Harvey is the relentless rain. Most of us are more familiar with hurricanes and storms which bring rain with them, but then they leave. Not so in Texas. How do you deal with two or three feet of rain or more that doesn’t let up? It’s hard to imagine having road after road, bridge after bridge, impassable and to have your home completely surrounded by water. One family after another has had to be rescued with crews trying to deal with hundreds of calls all at once. Some have refused to leave their homes without their beloved animals and it was heartwarming to watch one rescue in which crews returned a second time to bring the pets to safety. Seeing a shelter with cage after cage of dogs up their shoulders in water was a grim reminder that many Texas residents will not only lose their homes, but also their pets. We only hope that the loss of human lives can be held to a minimum.
Most folks feel quite helpless at times like this, keenly aware of the traumatic impact Hurricane Harvey will have on thousands and thousands of families. If we can’t be there, the next best thing is to send a contribution to the Red Cross or another legitimate charity trying to make a difference. Do what you can.