<HONEA EXPRESS: My Own Flood
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Monday, September 05, 2005

My Own Flood

When I was a kid I experienced something similar to what many of those in New Orleans are now enduring. I lived in Marana, AZ, just north of Tucson when it rained for over 10 consecutive days without reprieve. The banks of the surrounding rivers and washes, usually flowing with dust and tumbleweeds and the barest trickles of water, exploded under the pounding. The Santa Cruz river escaped along the interstate, using all lanes of I-10 as a literal open floodgate.

The water pinned us between highway and river. My father was not home. He was off helping someone else when it appeared that we were not in danger. I recall my mother, who is known for her extensive worrying, being quite resolute and wading through the water that entered our home to ensure the safety of my little sister and myself. The three of us, along with our new puppy, which I smuggled under my shirt, went to higher ground.

Eventually we were rescued by the National Guard. We rode in the back of a large truck, stopping often to pick up people that were standing on cars and hanging from trees. Everyone was quiet and moved only to help others become situated, warmed and welcomed.

It was terrifying to me as a child, not until I became a father did I understand what it must have been like for my parents- to see your child suffer and be in a danger beyond your control. They did what they had to do and people opened their hearts and doors to us. We stayed with friends and family and for a week my cousins and I stayed with one of our teachers. Unlike what you see on television now, there was no looting or shooting at would be helpers, rather our community came together to aid each other.

The hardship brought on by this act of nature was lessened greatly by the Red Cross and Salvation Army. Now they need our support to help others as they once helped me. That is why I have urged you to donate. That is why I have.