On Sunday, August 29, Hurricane Ida struck Louisiana with Category 4 power, then – weakening as a tropical depression, still later, transitioning into a post-tropical cyclone – raced northeastwards.
Among the savage results: lives lost, massive property and infrastructural damage, power outages with repairs lasting weeks to come, destructive tornadic wind activity, and record-setting flash flooding.
Among the good news: swift declarations and actions in emergency aid by federal, regional, and local governments, first-responders and national guard troops engaging in search, rescue, and recovery operations, and non-profit agencies gathering and distributing donations of food and assisting in the provision of shelter for victims.
What is more difficult to document numerically, yet the stories of witnesses are manifold, are the countless individual neighbor-to-neighbor personal acts of merciful kindness; all scaling and surmounting human hand-built walls of disunion along the razor-sharp lines of politics, socio-economic status, and race.
In a ruefully divided America, there are moments in time when that which tears us apart – and, in the case of Hurricane Ida, literally – also can reveal that which binds us together.
© 2021 PRA
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