Lessons from the Great Flood of August 2017

We asked our readers to tell us what they learned from the flood of August 2016 and past year of trying to recover from it. Their fascinating answers are found on Pages 4-7 and 10 of this newspaper. You probably won’t be able to put it down!
But we also wanted to answer that question ourselves. Every member of our staff was affected by the flood, some very dramatically.  Here is what we learned:
•    The Lord is in charge. Never doubt that or forget that.  He has a great plan for our lives, even though that plan is not always clear to us.
•    Things are not as important as we thought.
•    Our neighbors are pretty awesome!
•    It’s not what you lost but what you have left that counts.
•    It will take more than a 1,000-year flood to drown our spirits!
•    Most people are pretty darn good!
•    People have a complete misunderstanding of the purpose of FEMA. They think it is there to help them get back in their home that flooded. Nothing could be further from the truth! The confusing bureaucracy, delays, and ridiculous regulations are there by design. The purpose of FEMA is to strongly discourage citizens in flood-prone areas from rebuilding where they flooded.
•    FEMA should be abolished and a system of private insurance should be used in its place.
•    The only thing you can count on government to do is to screw you over when you are down.
•    There’s a reason Central was never developed — because Central floods!  The old-timers knew that and didn’t build where it floods. But today developers build subdivisions just about anywhere, and people assume because it’s a subdivision that it won’t flood. The truth is, Central floods like it always has and probably always will. Some people have a lot of hope for the Comite Diversion Canal. I supported it when I was in the legislature. But they told us then it would only affect flood levels by 1.5 feet along some areas of the Comite. I hope it does, but, remember, the Amite is a far bigger river and carries far more water.  The Comite Diversion Canal will have very little affect on the Amite.
•    On Saturday, August 12, 2016, I was in four feet of water for five hours trying to save what I could from my wife’s office on Oak Cluster Drive, south of Greenwell Springs Road. I was surprised at the strong current in the water — coming from the east — from the Amite. It wasn’t coming from the Comite!
•    When someone says, Oh, it doesn’t flood here, just assume they are wrong.
•    There are people who love us and will step forward and help — even without being asked.
•    There are other people who would love to help if you asked them! So ask them to help!
•    When you are gutting a house by yourself 20 hours a day, at some point you will collapse. But, if you keep asking for help, the Lord will send help — just before you think you are going to die!  It happened to me on six occasions.  Twice it was family, twice it was friends, and twice it was members of the Cen-
tral football team! Go Wildcats!
•    During times like this, people rise to the occasion. We realize there are real heroes in our midst. They are unsung and unrecognized. Yet, they are all around us! Some of them may be angels because they disappear, only to reappear sometime when you least expect it. Maybe at Wal-Mart! They wave at you from across the way and smile, then disappear forever!
•    The flood brought people closer to God — in fact, a whole community!

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