Wednesday, June 11, 2008

The Great Flood of 2008

We survived, but much of our home county is under water.

Estimates are in: $126 million in damage from the Great Flood 2008, on June 7. History-making that puts into everyone's mind why there actually is a phrase known as "100-year flood." This was Indiana's.

As I reported before, we didn't get any serious flooding or damage from the four-part series of storms that hit Central Indiana starting May 30. First, it was the northside and eastside of Indy that got hit by tornadoes and high winds. Then the southern part of our county and a military base, Camp Atterbury. Then, that same area in southern Johnson County and the community where I used to work - hit very hard. I'd noted that our neighborhood escaped most flooding, whch is true. But I wasn't aware of some flooding that actually did happen and looked bad - (thanks to Trish for the photo updates on her blog!). Suzi took some pics also, and I'll add those later. Anyhow, we're now more thankful of our decision to build a home in Greenwood and not Franklin.... We might have lost everything.

Anyhow, now the recovery that "may take a lifetime" for many in our county goes on. This is not New Orleans. Or some far-off place where floods and mudslides seem more common. This is us. Our communities. People and places we've come to love since moving here in January 2004.

This disaster presents a new, cruel norm for our Hoosier hometown and county - new images, a new lexicon: Disaster chairman. FEMA. Looters. Flood buckets. Unlivable. Tetanus shots. Ground zero. Fish dead on streets. Toxic stew. Piles of people's lives stacked on sidewalks. A mayor desperately seeking emergency shelter for his community.

If you haven't yet, please check out the coverage from my old stomping ground at the Daily Journal. They've done a marvelous job in covering this, both stories and photos. The link is here.

Yesterday, as I was driving home, an came on the radio about the latest flood news. Then the station went to commercial - a Tim Allen "Pure Michigan" one entitled "Water," which describes the state's beautiful natural resources and how water is so wonderful. One part says "Sure, water can flood a basement... but it can also flood your mind with memories..." I love these commercials and this one, but it really hurt to hear this one so immediately after this flood.

As everyone can see, this is all incredibly heartbreaking. Words of people, our neighbors who are hurting, are so powerful. We must listen to them. Then we must act to help them.