OUR OPINION: Thank you to local volunteers aiding in Hurricane Ida recovery

Published 8:00 am Friday, September 10, 2021

Hurricane Ida left utter devastation in its path, especially in South Louisiana, where it made landfall as a Category 4 storm.

Like many people who dodged the storm’s bullet, Vicksburg and Warren County residents have shown up and shown out to help our neighbors to the south as they begin to assess the damage and find some semblance of order in the wreckage.

From private citizens such as Army veteran Allen Pugh and Christen and Charles Toney, to the team of local firefighters who are taking shifts in Harvey, La., to the brave linemen who work around the clock to bring electricity back to the structures that are still standing, the showing of support is tremendous.

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Whether it’s through collecting donations of much-needed goods or risking life and limb to keep others safe, we salute those who saw a need and have worked to meet it.

Hurricane recovery is a task that goes beyond when the mainstream news cycle stops coverage. The physical and emotional wounds left by a storm like Ida will be evident for years to come. We mustn’t get complacent and comfortable, thinking, “It’s not on the news channel anymore, so those people are fine.”

There are displaced persons from Louisiana and the affected areas scattered throughout Vicksburg and Warren County. They’re making homes in our hotels, in apartments, with family members and friends.

When you see an out-of-towner from Louisiana, show a little extra kindness. You never know; they could be here because their home was inundated with floodwaters and they have nowhere to go. They could have come to Vicksburg because we’re one of the few towns on the Louisiana border not experiencing gas shortages. Perhaps the only belongings they have left are the ones they took with them when evacuating ahead of the hurricane.

We are the fortunate ones. The ones who had all our emergency systems and storm preparation in place, and didn’t have to activate them.

Because we were spared, we can continue to bless those who weren’t so lucky.