July 17, 2008
Those of us on low ground near the Flint River have vivid memories of July, 1994. Many people can divide their lives into two segments: before the flood, and after the flood.
That dirty brown water went wherever it pleased, and anything on low ground that wasn't sand-bagged was submerged. And that was just the Flint River.
What about the folks in Iowa who are experiencing the same thing now, as the Mississippi River spills over into corn country?
There's a reason they call it the "Mighty Mississippi." In places, it's over a mile wide, and until you see it for yourself, it's hard to imagine how much water we're talking about.
And Iowa is about as flat as a table, and the water just goes where it wants to. Into streets, homes, and into corn fields. There's no telling how much agricultural damage this flood is doing in America's Heartland.
When Albany flooded in 1994, and again in 1998, there were many people and agencies who came to help. There was federal money too, but there were many volunteers who spent their own money to get here, and brought supplies and man-power with them, with no help from Uncle Sam.
The shoe is on the other foot in the heartland now, and we would do well to recall the way we were helped back in the nineties. Other folks are in need now, so let's not wait on the government to do it all. We saw along the Gulf Coast in 2005 that more was needed.