I haven’t updated you all in a while on the flood situation here so I thought I would link to two videos you may want to watch.
I don’t have a lot more information. Things have really settled down. The people and groups that have volunteer labor available are rebuillding very quickly. Unfortunately a lot of people don’t have access to this source. Local companies are stepping up big time. A couple companies have made multi-million dollar donations to flood relief. My company has provided facilities to cook mealfor the feed the needy programs, city council meetings and a large amount of IT and disaster recovery support have been relocated to our offices. They also allow each employee one day a month off to work on flood relief. Last I heard they have had over 4000 hours donated, which is amazing. Other companies are doing similar things. It’s an amazing effort to put things back together, and an amazing response from the citizens here.
There has been a fair amount of complaining about how slow the government is responding, but I think that’s because the people are ready to get to work faster than the government is ready to assist them. I know of very few people at this point who haven’t at least had their entire building gutted so it can begin drying. I would say that most have been gutted for a while and the owners are just trying to line up all the money to get them rebuilt. There are plenty of houses that are just waiting for the wrecking ball, and plenty of eager sellers, but overall most people are trying to put things back together.
The city is talking about tearing down a wide swath of houses and building parks in their place. I’m keeping my ears on this so that when the parks are built perhaps we can get some community garden space in them. Same goes for blocks that have had houses here and there torn down. Those would make very valuable garden areas, I just have to get through the huge time demand on our council members and help them to see this.
Another thing, Hurrican Ike. If you’ve been reading this blog for a while you know that my family and I went to Galveston, TX in 2006 for a vacation. Watching the pictures of the destruction from the Hurricane it was a surreal experience to see places I had visited blown apart and destroyed. The condo we stayed in was even shown on CNN taking wave upon wave of water as the Hurricane blew water over the seawall, across the 4 lane strip and into and against the condo buildings. I imagine they have been flooded. As devastating as our flood was here, they had flooding, winds, storms and total power outages. Unbelieveable destruction.