Saturday, February 24, 2007

A disaster changes everything

Looking at the tornado-damaged homes today in the Carriage Oaks subdivision, I couldn't help but think about Hurricane Katrina. Granted, Bossier City did not record a single death or even a serious injury, and the houses were not nearly as wrecked as those in New Orleans. I've seen both up close. But seeing how vulnerable we are to Mother Nature always shapes our perspective.
It's amazing how some homes had whole sections of their roof destroyed, while there were just a few tree limbs on the ground in other yards. Neighbors were helping one another. People were more than willing to tell their stories. Some businesses also lost roofs, or like Gemco Portable Buildings, a lot of their merchandise.
Prisoners walked through streets and yards cleaning suburban-feeling Carriage Oaks. You don't see that every day.

And then there were the emergency responders. Authorities set up a command center at Carriage Oaks church of Christ. It's always interesting to me when state-sponsored entities get involved with religious ones. But today it seemed to be a smooth transition. Raymond Watson, the man pictured above, is a deacon at the church. He said their auditorium received water damage but that the congregation was more than willing to let police and firefighters use their facilities for shelter when the wind and rain picked up.

They were cleaning up the building for lectureship -- like a revival meeting -- to be held next weekend. The tornado changed things.

Times like these force us to act quickly and question our priorities. I hate that it takes a violent wake up to make us do this, but I hope we remember what it feels like.

Jim Flarity, owner of Gemco Portable Buildings, walks through wreckage at his store location on East Texas Street in Bossier City. The building behind him was turned upside down by strong winds on Saturday. (Adam Kealoha Causey/The Times)

1 comment:

Kevan Smith said...

Mark Natale said, "We're pretty fortunate to have this kind of damage." Someone needs a new spokesperson.