After Hurricane Laura 2020

It’s been a week now since Hurricane Laura came through and devastated our city. The images don’t do it justice. We made national headlines and fodder for celebrity tweets because a statue called The South’s Defenders was twisted and toppled. That statue doesn’t represent the SWLA that I know. THIS ONE DOES, and I’ve blogged about it before. For years I kept a framed photograph near my desk of a statue on our church grounds taken after Hurricane Rita tore through our community in 2005. So much spoke to me about what was represented. Calm in the midst of the storm. Broken but standing. I sat near the base of that statue years ago and planned a life forward for my kids and I, and I’m asking for help for my community to do the same.

My city is facing even worse devastation this time as the strongest storm to hit our area in more than 150 years has come and gone leaving a thriving coastal community to pick up the pieces one piece at a time. Peace will come again in time, but we’re not there yet. We “dodged a bullet” as the media is saying only because we aren’t also covered in 15ft of water. We’re still salty though. We need help. Some folks stayed behind and are braving unimaginable conditions by modern standards. Nobody is waiting for help because there isn’t time. Neighbors are helping neighbors and strangers are helping strangers, but more help is needed. Elderly folks without access to social media are trying to get back because they aren’t being flooded with images from the storm, wind, and water. Regular middle class working people won’t be getting back to work any time soon because we need water and utilities and basic structures for that. Crippling deductibles were allowed to pass and have families bewildered as to how anyone will be able to rebuild. I have a friend with a $65,000 deductible whose husband has been out of work for months due to COVID, and she’s not unique. Friends with little or nothing aren’t getting money thrown at them from government or disaster relief yet they’re relying on their higher power and higher credit card limits to get through the short term if they can. HELP. Keep us in the news. Keep the pressure on elected officials to help. Let SWLA know that you see them and hear them. Do what you can and spread the word.

After Hurricane Rita in 2005
Lost dogs at the statue