Thursday, April 28, 2011

Devastation

Most people associate Hurricane Katrina with the people of New Orleans. It was an horrific natural disaster that affected many. It wiped out one of our favorite spots on earth, Ft. Pickens Campground in Pensacola, Florida.

Nearly one year after the hurricane, we drove to Florida to see how the area had changed. My son-in-law's family has a place on the beach just down the road from Ft. Pickens. When we turned to go down the familiar road, my heart hammered and it felt like I couldn't get my breath. The devastation was still apparent as homes and hotels STILL lay roadside in huge piles of rubble. The barrier island used to be at sea level. To our left was the Gulf and to our right was the bay, both a stone's throw away. But a year later they had bulldozed a twenty-foot high, debris filled sandwall in front of the Gulf, and the turqouise water was not visible at all. the narrow strip of road was washed out.

The family's condo was still intact, but the swimming pool was non-existent as it had filled with sand. The bay was debris strewn. I can't explain the pain and empathy I felt as we drove through what appeared to be a war zone. I cried. It hurt deeply to see the devastation. The area has since recovered; new high rise hotels are back and the road, though it floods, and the campground are open again.

That same elephant-sitting-on-my-chest feeling has returned this morning after watching the tornado devastation down South. Those poor people. My heart goes out to them, my prayers go heavenward. They will recover, but they will forever be changed.

10 comments:

Susan said...

Hi Linda...I know how you feel about the devastation. Whenever I see something like a tornado hitting, or a tsunami, I feel such deep compassion for those who lose everything but their lives. Susan

June Freaking Cleaver said...

An elderly couple came into the tax office this year and told how their dishwasher caught fire in November, and their entire home of 50 years was gone.

The husband said he wasn't upset, as his wife and his dog were with him - he had all that he needed.

They have a new home now, and fewer possessions - and they are happy.

Jennifer Brown Banks said...

Linda,

What a poignant piece. How true--"they will recover, but will be forever changed." I share in your pain and your prayers.

Jennifer

Odie Langley said...

I know they are survivors and will build again. I really feel for them.

Karen Lange said...

I am saddened to see the devastation and suffering. My thoughts and prayers are with those involved.

Julia Gordon-Bramer said...

I can't even imagine a mile-wide tornado going through an urban center like Birmingham. It's too terrible to believe. Prayers and love to those people.

Tammy said...

I agree--poignant is the word. But sad as destruction is, you highlighted the silver lining. They WILL rebuild, and maybe they'll be changed for the better? I like to think so.

K9friend said...

So much weather-related devastation lately. Mother Nature must really be angry at someone.

Pat
www.critteralley.blogspot.com

Dianna Graveman said...

Thanks for a beautiful post, Linda. How we were so fortunate here in St. Louis is anybody's guess.

Cattis said...

Mother Natur seems to be really fed up with us. I feel so sad thinking of all the people and animals of all sorts that has met her "anger".