Bishop Charles Jenkins of Louisiana on Gustav

From his blog:

jenkinsNell Bolton, the Canons and I toured a bit of the Southwest Deanery on Friday, The Bridge on Hwy. 315 was broken and the Falgout Canal road flooded so we could not get to Bayou du Large. The devastation and need in Terrebonne Parish is huge.

As I drove back to my personal home in Slidell, La., I passed convoys of trucks bringing power workers into the region. I also passed convoys of buses bringing home those who had needed assistance to evacuate. The stream of autos returning to New Orleans has been heavy for three days. I congratulate the Governor of Louisiana and the Mayor of New Orleans on the evacuation effort for Gustav. I have been quick to criticize; my congratulations are genuine.

A lot of us will not be able to willing to go next time. Should IKE threaten, many of us will just try to hunker down. The infantile pleas of grossly inarticulate leaders will likely fall upon deaf ears. The Gustav evacuation demonstrated even to those of us who have some means, the frustration of not being able to meet our basic needs when nothing is available for purchase. We have now an experience, albeit it miniscule, of being poor. For example, even the rich are poor in Houma today. There is no electricity; there is little clean water, if any. I hope we learn from this experience.

A deep sadness of the Gustav evacuation was hearing the telephone calls on WWL radio of the poor who had evacuated and then been turned out of their hotels for lack of resources. Some who self evacuated did not have the means to purchase fuel for the trip home. I assume that those of us who rely solely upon a monthly check will get those funds when the power comes on. In the meantime, we have nothing to live on except the generosity of others. Many of us will not have the means, financially or emotionally, to go again. Some have said it is better to die here than elsewhere.

None of this should be considered an excuse to stay put if an evacuation is ordered. If we are called to go again, we must go!
It is joked that in New Orleans a common wedding present is an axe to put in the attic of your home. An axe in the attic is needed to cut through the roof if you must evacuate vertically. I am off to the Home Depot to replenish my hurricane supplies and to purchase an axe.

Bishop Jenkins

The Bishop’s Blog

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