Evacuate your homes this weekend! The message was loud and clear to those families of Gulfport, Illinois. As the Mississippi River continues to rise so does the stress of anticipation.
How would you feel, if you had to leave behind your home of 50 years with only a suitcase, medicine bag and purse. Not to mention coping with the separation of another family, your pet.
Can you imagine the anxiety of a younger child under these conditions?
They’re searching for someone to validate everything being seen and heard. Why? What’s happening? They’re also questioning why they have to leave behind their bed and toys.
How would you explain this to a child? A flood is coming! What? Maybe, if you tell the child how a lot of rainy days and nights have poured into the Mississippi River causing it to over fill like over filling a cup.
A child thinks you can make it stop. If only this could be true. Gulfport was protected by a cement brick levee. The levee was suppose to be able to withstand a 100 year old flood.
While residing in temporary homes or hotel rooms, the heartbreaking news came to those 200 families, on June 17th at 5:00 a.m.. Families gasped in disbelief, as they watched their homes disappear beneath the river water on TV. The levee wasn’t designed to protect the town of a flood of this magnitude. It’s unbearable to imagine everything they’ve worked so hard to obtain being washed away down river and all the memories you can’t replace. They wipe away their tears, only to feel isolated and helpless to the situation.
A child thinks you’re able to clean up any mess. Unfortunately, this is not the case. For the majority of these families it means starting over. It’s a matter of weeks before the water will recede. Meanwhile, they all rely on the love and caring support of their friends and relatives to provide the necessities such as food, clothing, and household items to get them back on their feet again.
My heart goes out to every one who has been affected by the Flood of 2008.
By Dawn Phillips
Word Count 370