Friday, January 13, 2017

A City Re-born

Last Monday, January 2, 2017, an EF1 Tornado ripped through more than half of Albany, Georgia, my original hometown, and left it with dangling wires ripped from their poles, wires that would be wrapped in and around limbs that would combine themselves as one as they draped across roads and homes. Huge trees upended from their four foot wide roots, more trees that would land on top of homes and vehicles, crushing the life out of everything around it, but somehow leaving the people to survive. Somehow a miracle came out of all of that, and no one was injured or killed during that storm.

But there were many more miracles that also occurred that everyone would be witness to in the days to come.  As a city that is often as identified has one of the highest in crime, unemployment, and racial strife – it somehow woke-up on Tuesday, January 3rd and came together as one for all and all for one.

So many businesses were closed because power was out city-wide. Were all those people, all those employees sitting at home, watching television and laying around in their pajamas all day, taking advantage of the extra time off? Not even close.

Those people were loading up their personal trucks, with their personal equipment, i.e.; chain saws, tractors, backhoes, and ladders, and they headed out to find the first place they came to that needed help and began their own version of community clean-up, self-survival, and rescue.

They were using their own money, asking for nothing in return, as day after day, they moved from one disaster area to another, trying to slowly release the pressure valve that was building by the second. For the first 24 hours, people of the community would already be set in motion as the city would try to gather a thought process about how to organize help and where to start.

At some point, they would all be working together: the local and out of town churches and schools, local businesses offering free shelter, food and water and help, the city receiving offers of assistance from so many other counties, and the people, the everyday people, the average citizens; they would all start in the mornings at dawn and work until dusk/dark, every single day, all striving for the same result: to bring their city back to life, and to bring relief and help to the families/citizens in need.

My parents were in the middle of all that, and though they were blessed that their home was not structurally compromised, they did have many trees down in their yard, and they were without power for six days; as well as my worry would be doubled as I now live two hours away.  But the offers of help were many and my thanks and appreciation go to all the people who offered them help, food and shelter.

Albany, Georgia has struggled with its reputation for years. I think that maybe, finally, they have stood-up and shown that they’ve earned the words in their motto – maybe they really ARE The Good Life City after all. 

No comments:

Post a Comment