Several weeks ago, I wrote about making statues for my model railroad. That post was right in time for the Fourth of July celebration. But today, I want to briefly comment on a different kind of hero... those special people who rose to the challenge of some of the worst flooding here in Findlay over the past week.
Monday evening, the entire area received anywhere from 8 to 11 inches of rain. This included the area south of Findlay that drains into the Blanchard River that flows through town. About 18 hours later, that water, combined with what had collected locally, sent the Blanchard River about 14 feet deeper than normal and some 6+ feet over flood stage.
For the next 24-36 hours, the Blanchard River turned Findlay into a new world Venice. There was water everywhere and in many places, a boat was the only means of safe travel. Needless to say, many people lost a lot... in some cases, everything except what little they could carry to safety in a short period of time. Basements were flooded, entire floors of apartment buildings were flooded... churches, businesses, libraries, even the local YMCA, all were invaded by the yuck & muck that came their way.
There were the usual heroes, the police, the fire men & the emergency medical people. But there were also friends, neighbors and even people you didn't know that pitched in to help. Some not affected by the high waters were quick to donate much needed labor, supplies and money to assist with immediate needs. The American Red Cross set up shelters for those displaced; these shelters were also manned mostly by volunteers, people who gave up their time to assist others. Everywhere you turned, there were ordinary people doing extraordinary things to help others.
The waters have receded; the Blanchard River is now back in its banks. But the mess left in its wake will take a long, long time to clean up. As I mentioned, some people lost everything. But there are still heroes on the job. Last night, we saw truckload after truckload of flood damaged "stuff" being collected for disposal. People are still helping people clean up, repair & rebuild. Contributions are pouring in from all over the country. Slowly but surely, our fair city is getting back to normal.
People helping people... the real heroes at times like this. Their names probably won't be in the paper, they won't be awarded a plaque or a medal, but the people they helped will always remember them and their kindnesses in this time of need. You know who you are; thanks to all of you.
Until next time...