Friday, June 27, 2008

No Friends of FEMA or the Corps

Posted By on Fri, Jun 27, 2008 at 3:23 PM

Late Thursday night, June 26

We’re finally done for the day after a great meal with the local families hosting us here. I ache all over.

Our group concluded the workday by following the trucks laden with our handiwork of finely-stuffed sandbags to their final resting spot: the levee at Park-N-Fish, Illinois. Despite two vodkas at dinner, I’m serious about the name.

We encountered several locals at the drop-off point who described the back-to-back disasters of 1993: The Great Flood and then having to deal with FEMA. The only governmental entity for which they have greater disdain is the Corps of Engineers (I told you last night these folks are our perfect sister-city-on-the-river). Both are considered utterly useless. I’ve never met a populace, which can so readily grasp our furor over the Corps’ incompetence.

Folks her are already chafing at the fact that once this is all over, the Corps is going to make them take down all of the levee enhancements and reinforcements — just so they get repeat all of this sandbagging again next year. Apparently the additional sand is an irritant to a class of endangered and protected snails. You can imagine how this goes over with Southern Illinois farmers.

I’m tired, hurting and going to bed. But with a huge smile on my face over the great people we’ve met and worked with today and the opportunity to give back. Tomorrow, the Yats sandbag some more then join about 2,000 volunteers and locals for a blues concert in the town park.

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