When Hurricane Michael hit the South in October 2018, it devastated Panama City, Florida, then it turned northeast and headed to Georgia. It crossed the Carolinas and Virginia. All these communities received tremendous damage.
A friend of mine, who lives in Bullock County, Georgia, advised me of a very small community in southwest Georgia that lost almost their entire inner structure. This community is the county seat, with a population of around 2,500 people. It’s very small compared to the standards we are familiar with. So, imagine a village like Radnor or Ashley, in an area of about 400 square miles, and a very bad storm goes through it, destroying every major building, store, grocery, restaurant and most of the homes and schools.
It left most of the protection from the elements to the open nature. How helpless would that feel?
Plus, being a very small community, they received no press and very little assistance from the federal and local government. They were left on their own to recover. The first responders worked around the clock, rescuing people of all races and creeds. These people, for the most part, had very little to start with.
A lot of the first responders were volunteers who dropped everything to help. Most of them had lost everything themselves. I find it interesting that the small towns seem not to get any press during these big disasters.
Deputy Bobby Durban, from Bullock County, Georgia, advised me of the fight these people were in. They needed cleaning supplies very badly, so I gathered up as much as I could and sent it to Georgia. Bobby was able to get people he knew to bring him enough cleaning supplies, so he could take a trailer load where they were so badly needed.
I advised my sister, who is also a retired police officer, that these people had lost almost everything. God bless her for taking the bull by the horns and sending help so that the first responders could have a very nice Thanksgiving. Later, with the contacts we made there, she helped to give them a nice Christmas, also.
We go on from day to day in life and are upset about the things we see in the paper and hear on the news, as well as being upset with the people we work with. We are not considering how lucky and blessed we are. I cannot imagine every major building, store, and home being gone! No electricity, no phone line or cell phone working because the towers are down. And how long it would take to recover! Now, add the fact that you have only a few people, and they have no money. And I mean no money! Where would you start? The fire chief there told me that they were all still alive, and God would help them recover.
I have to say that I am very blessed. I hope that the people who have lost so much are able to recover. If you pray, say a prayer for them.
If you believe in other ways, send good thoughts to them. I hope everyone finds peace.
Loren Pool is a retired Delaware County deputy sheriff.