Saturday, March 14, 2009

Lessons from the Flood

Now that we have started a new year and spring has sprung, I have reminisced about the past year and all the events that have happened during it. I keep hearing people say that they want to just forget about the past year and move on. Well, that's fine, but there's a lot one needs to recall from last year.

Certainly, the pain is still there. Memories of the water coming up fast and nothing to stop it. I continually recall my darkest moment when I heard the street superintendent over the radio saying that they were abandoning the electric generation building because the water was coming in too fast. That was certainly a very low moment. I could hear the hush and the despair that momentarily came over the emergency operations center.

But then, the electric general manager and the chairperson of the electric trustees board came rushing in to call for the electric generator trucks to restore power to the city. It seemed to breathe new life into us. I went up from the basement of the courthouse and saw the many people who came from all over the area to help fill sandbags while several others prepared food to feed them. It was almost like our community was getting a rebirth or renewal to start fresh with a brighter outlook on things. Even the sky, which was cloudy that morning cleared up and the sun shone brightly on the scene. It is these moments that I want to remember.

Also. the lessons we learned. To always be vigilant and prepared. I remembered when the water was getting near floodstage and a couple people told me not to worry until it got a few more feet higher. Now. everyone is concerned with the river now rising slightly even though the river is still a few feet below floodstage and we didn't have the snow or rain like last year. How long will we remember to carefully watch the river to prepare for the worst?

I don't think we want to completely shove last year to the distant past. We can't change what took place, but we need to remember what we learned from this event and apply that to the future.

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