By Joe Darby
I know far more about Harvey than I really want to, but not nearly enough yet.
As to the first part, I’ve been glued to the darned TV set for days. It’s like when you pass a bad wreck on the highway, you don’t really want to stare, but you can’t bring yourself to turn away.
I’ve watched the truly heartbreaking scenes from Houston, which remind me so much of what New Orleans went through with Katrina 12 years ago this week. I saw the rescues of so many people, particularly the frail and the elderly, struggling to make it out of the flood waters.
I’ve admired the rescuers themselves, who go in harm’s way simply to help their fellow man. For those folks who say Americans aren’t like they used to be and that we couldn’t handle a true crisis, I say just look at Houston. We still have what it takes.
Sometimes it’s just hard to deal with the fact, though, that one day you’re living your life in a progressive, modern city, with all the conveniences, and the next everything you have is just gone. Your house, where you raised your kids and hosted friends and family over the years, is no more. Your good old friendly neighborhood is devastated. Your whole community is in shambles and likely will be for years to come.
This is the kind of catastrophe that drove Mary and me to leave New Orleans after Katrina. We suffered only minor roof damage then, but we knew that every year, when hurricane season rolled around, we’d be going through the anxiety of wondering if and when it would happen again.
Which brings me to the second part of my opening sentence. I don’t yet know enough about Harvey because I don’t know how much rain he’s going to dump in Natchitoches. Our house has come fairly close to getting water in through the back door in very heavy rains in the past. We have a concrete slab back porch and water tends to pool there. It’s come within a half-inch of the door sill.
So I got eight sandbags from the city on Tuesday and, with the help of our dear neighbors Andy and Kelly, built a little dam around the back door, hoping it will be sufficient to keep the house dry.
Normally, I’d write this column later in the day to give an updated report, but there’s always the possibility that power could go out and that I’d be unable to send my column to the Natchitoches Parish Journal.
So, here it is, mid-morning on Wednesday, as we sit and wait for Harvey to come to our town. Hope he starts to dry up and just hurry on through. For all of our sakes. God bless and good luck.