Tuesday, September 02, 2008

A New Call to Action

The news from Pearlington this morning is much better than it could have been, but distressing nonetheless.

Although no one has been able to get back in an any organized way, there is word from the ground such as this comment posted by Kayte:

My husband just came from Oak Harbor, Pearlington. The water has not gone out yet. The firestation apparently had about 5 ft of water. They parked on 90 and walked through water as high as their waist to get to my parent's house. So far there isn't the mud and stink Katrina`left behind. Not much wind damage...just water."

John Chickering has been in touch this morning and send this: there is a news link up and running on the Pearlington Recovery Center site at http://www.pearlington.info/

He also sends the following links to check out more current news:

Governor Says Evacuees should Stay at Least One More Day
WLBT-TV - Jackson,MS,USA... says flooding is a significant problem in the Hancock County communities of Pearlington and Waveland as well as most low lying areas on the coast. ...See all stories on this topic

UPDATE 1-Gustav shuts ports, waterways from Texas to FloridaReuters UK - UKThe Gulf ICW was closed from Mile 40 near Pearlington, Mississippi, at the Louisiana-Mississippi line, to Mile 250 near Panama City, Florida. ...See all stories on this topic

Latest from MEMA: surge numbers, flooding, etc.
Biloxi Sun Herald - MS, USAPearlington: About 100 homes are flooding in the Pearlington area in Hancock County. No reports of anyone occupying those residences at this time. ...See all stories on this topic

Gustav shuts Mobile, ICW between Miss., Fla. - USCG
Reuters UK - UKThe ICW remained closed from near Pearlington, Mississippi, to near Panama City, Florida, the Coast Guard said. (Reporting by Bruce Nichols; Editing by John ...See all stories on this topic

Ports in Miss., Ala., and Fla. Panhandle remain closed
Selma Times-Journal - Selma,AL,USAMOBILE — All waterways along the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway from mile marker 40, near Pearlington, Miss., to mile marker 250, near Panama City, Fla., ...See all stories on this topic

Debris Closes Portions of Highways
WTOK - Meridian,MS,USA... at Picayune to Poplarville in Pearl River County. There are trees and debris on Highway 604 near Pearlington and on Highway 43 south of Firetower Road.See all stories on this topic

Gustav Impact Update
WJTV - Jackson,MS,USAHighway 90 in Harrison County is still closed as is Highway 90 in Pearlington in Hancock County. · Highway 43/603 south of I-10 is closed because of ...See all stories on this topic

Flooding, power outages plague Mississippi
Jackson Clarion Ledger - Jackson,MS,USAUS 90 in Harrison County is closed as is US 90 in Pearlington in Hancock County. Mississippi 43/603 south of I-10 is closed because of flooding. ...See all stories on this topic

Water rising in Hancock, tornado reports unconfirmed
Biloxi Sun Herald - MS, USAHowever, farther west in the Pearlington area, flooding did not appear to be a problem. One Mississippi Marine Patrol officer had a taste of the stiff winds ...See all stories on this topic

Tornado warning issued at Slidell
The Times-Picayune - NOLA.com - New Orleans,LA,USARadar indicated a severe thunderstorm capable of producing a tornado 16 miles southeast of Pearlington, Miss., and 10 miles south of Waveland, Miss., ...See all stories on this topic


Tom Dalessandri from The Pearlington Project hopes to be in P'ton today, as a First Responder, and will keep me in the loop - so check back here often. Other sources intend to return today as well, if possible, and I will post their observations.

No one should rush to Pearlington this second! This will not be the relative free-for-all Katrina was. We embarassed them too much the last time and they will not be seen as incompetent. Let's get some information first, then measure our response accordingly.

Time for some straight talk.

Those of us who care for Pearlington and for the residents who have opened their hearts to us, have two choices. We can turn our backs, walk away: we've done our share, we've done enough. Let someone else take up the challenge. We're tired, tapped out and have hit up everyone we know already for money. It's someone else's problem now.

Or,

We can accept that our disappointment and dismay, that some of our hard work has been undone, must be insignificant in relation to the way the people of Pearlington must feel. As a mental health professional, I can assure you that their emotional state in the wake of this new challenge will be fragile at best. We can tuck our collective chins into our chests and get back to work. We can find the eloquence and determination to create the resources we need to do what we have to do.

We can stand beside the people of Pearlington and hold their hands as they rise again from these new ashes. We can show them that we will love equally the ones who want to give up and the ones who wish to stay and start again. There will be cynics and naysayers enough, but we will not be among them.

YOU choose.

Let me know. Email me or leave a comment on this page. We must begin gathering resources now.

God bless Pearlington and the spirit of determination.

"Canada" Jon
jonw@bconnex.net

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