Perspective (Long)

I just received this from a friend, and as I read it, I realise I don’t have any problems when compared to these unfortunate folks.
Just finished my second week of flood duty. On my second tour in Wyoming County

There is a small community of about 300 homes, two churches & a business. Over 200 were flood damaged of these 165 were seriously damaged, I condemned 50. It was very sad. 80% had no mortgage and 90% had no flood insurance. The Red Cross, Salvation Army, southern Baptist men and various other religious franchises are represented. Coeds from americorps are out delivering food & helping in recovery. 1800 (my last info) friends in woodland camouflage (the National Guard) are out doing recovery and security. Last Friday another 60 WV State Troopers were deployed with additional help coming from the forestry department & the DNR Police (Conservation Officers). The news coverage does not due the damage justice. You need “smell a vision” to appreciate the mud. The Chief Inspector advised me that next week were getting 4 structural engineers to assist from the Army Corps of Eng. Help is arriving from all over. This flood is as bad as the 1985 one - but fortunately less deaths, 3 Vs 50. Out of state guard troops are helping too have lost count on the volunteers etc…. 22 of 55 WV counties were declared federal disaster areas. As I was telling Buck this morning I had to condemn a homeplace. Built before the civil war or for you folks in the south the war of northern aggression (sorry - couldn’t resist it - am tired….) It was occupied until 2 months ago when the next to last family member died. The sole survivor arrived and told me about it.
George Washington surveyed the land when we were part of the commonwealth of Va. They have lived there farming since then till a few years ago when they were too old to farm. This will be hard to forget. As we evaluate the structures for health and safety you know in the back of your mind that this was someone home of business. This is my 10th major flood in 20 years and hope never to see another, but know I will…. The new marshals are overwhelmed with the mission… It takes your breath away to see the power of nature and the powerlessness of man. If I recall this flash flood was from 8 1/2 inches of rain. Many houses had 4 to 8 feet of water go through them. Amazing…. One church in Mullins I inspected was not sure they could recover. I worked with them for a while & told them that the building & they would be fine, That it would take a lot of work to fix it but with visible & invisible support they would make it, That was on Tuesday PM. As I wen by Friday they had cleaned up the lower level & were passing out cleaning supplies & food. They had gone from victims to helpers in days. Renewed old acquaintances with disaster workers from the Salvation Army, Red Cross & the guard. Told them that we have to quit meeting like this…

Well this short note is not so short…. But I wanted to get out a message ---- stuff is stuff - friends & family is where it at…. You can replace your stuff……

Peace