Waiting With Baited Breath on Hurricane Rita
As many of you know, and for those of you who don't, I live right outside of New Orleans and the area has been hit by the most devastating natural disasters recorded in American History. If you're from Mars or Jupiter, then you might not know what I'm speaking of, but if you're anywhere in the Continental United States or other neighboring country, you know I'm speaking of Hurricane Katrina that struck on August 29, 2005.
Here we are three weeks later, and we are possibly faced with the impending threat of yet another Hurricane. Rita is her name. Most people who live inside Orleans Parish has not been allowed to return home yet to survey the damage and destruction caused by Hurricane Katrina. Over the past few days, they were given a glimmer of hope of possibly returning only to hear Mayor Nagin annouce that the reentry plan has been cancelled and for those that did make it in to the West Bank of the River (Algiers) have been warned that they must make preparations to leave by Wednesday as we await Rita's passage over southern Florida and enter the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
The latest newscast say that Rita should reach hurricane force winds tonight as Southern Florida once again gets pounded. And those of us that live along the southern coastline (Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Texas) wait with baited breath as Rita decides her destructive path.
I have seen the pictures first hand, and heard some of the stories from inside sources that will never make the headlines of some of the happenings in and around the New Orleans area since Hurricane Katrina struck. Sad, just sickeningly sad and utterly unbelieveable I tell myself.
I, being an employee of law enforcement community, must stay behind and mann the fort, while my family once again gathers precious belongings and head for higher, safer grounds. This has been the 'norm' for me for the past 28 years. Many people have often asked me through the years, why I must stay. To them I say, "Somebody's gotta do it." I've been doing this so lone, it's almost second nature to me now although I admit, my heart aches as my family pulls out of the driveway.
Once they depart, it is not long before I suck it all up, and head for my 911 Center, which will become my temporary home until after nature unfolds its wrath. So once again, I sit, and wait and in between sitting and waiting, I pray. But I pray for this entire area, because as much as I pray the storm bypasses us, I know that someone will be in Rita's path, but for all that we've suffered here in southern Louisiana, I know that this area may not be able to withstand a mild thunderstorm, let alone a major hurricane.
I guess there's not much else we can do either way, except pray. I'll be praying for us but I asked each and everyone of you to pray for us all as well. God speed!