I probably spent too many hours watching the news coverage about the flooding in Houston. Pictures I will never forget; the elderly people in the nursing home sitting in their wheel chairs, rockers, in water up to their chests awaiting rescue; calmly, so calmly; one lady even crocheting as she sat in the flood waters. They don’t make them like that anymore, you know? The doggies in their masters’ arms, ears flapping as the rescue boats sped on; people in wheelchairs, people who were homeless, the mindless reporters and that includes FOX badgering them for comments about what happened just as they stepped off the boats, already trying to crucify the mayor for not ordering an evacuation and in this case, he was right. I remember what happened in Houston right after Katrina when Hurricane Rita was barreling down and their was an evacuation of Houston. People sat on the roads for hours and hours and a Greyhound bus carrying a load of elderly evacuees got in a wreck and exploded incinerating nearly everyone on board. This time, nearly six million people in this case would have been trapped in their cars on roads already falling apart and crumbling into the floodwater now because of the rainfall. One lady, as she got off the boat, covered her face, waved the camera away and then shot the finger right on live TV. You just don’t bother people at times like these. Already some of the tendency to make this into a racial thing–both white people and black people have had their homes destroyed and a reporter trying to compare one area of the flooding to what happened in the lower ninth ward here. Tired of the crap, so tired of it.
I’m feeling overwhelmed by all of this because frankly, it breaks my heart to remember how much the people of Houston reached out to Katrina refugees in 2005 and took them in, gave them shelter, and now look at what they’re going through. Thankfully so far, I don’t think Houston has had the looting New Orleans experienced after the flood, but that’s a different population altogether. And I wasn’t flooded, but God, how my life was disrupted and in comparison to what has happened to these port people it was nothing, but it was difficult. Couldn’t get back home for a month, wondering if we would make it, no power, a stinky refrigerator, and that was nothing in comparison. And I remember the aftermath of Katrina, the people whose lives were so disrupted, how so many of the people couldn’t cope with starting over again and there were so many suicides. There was a young police officer named Accardo who was the public relations officer for NOPD who was on duty throughout Katrina, and, overwhelmed by all the death and horror he saw, put a gun in his mouth as he sat in an unmarked police car and committed suicide. It was so sad, all of it. And I’m drinking a sip of deja vu with the sight of this in Houston that won’t let up for the next week.
It’s drifting our way; already there are tornado warnings in LaFourche Parish not so far away. Just sad, walking under a pall, as if a cry of collective mystery reaches those intuit threads and I’m suffering a bit while not even being in the thick of it.