The Annunciation-Broadmoor team managed some sleep, then up at 6a to
start our day. We were led to the Quincy Civic Center which is the
epicenter of sandbagging. Last week this mostly volunteer operation
loaded and shiped 1,000,000+ sandbags.
I was struck immediately by the mayor being on hand to greet the
volunteers and help lead them to their assignments. Part of my
assignment here is to observe differences between Quincy and New
Orleans. Major difference number one: their mayor is present, engaged
and appears to know whats going on. And he skipped a meeting
Florida to be here for this crisis.
Some things, however, are the same. When one of our team asked, How
is FEMA doing here? the response was We havent seen them yet.
The sandbagging operation is a fascinating sight. There are convicts,
Mennonites, the elderly, police and firemen, kids of all ages and on
it goes all pitching in. A group of Mennonites from Iowa who lost
everything in the floods are down here helping try to save others.
Yesterday the convicts had a race with the National Guard to see who
could fill the most bags. Convicts won going away.
They still have their infrastructure in tact so its all amazingly
smooth and efficient. The New Orleanians forgot to sign in so we
screwed up their entire intake process. Big surprise.
Weve just learned that a critical levee in the
town of Hull is in jeopardy so were racing there to lend a hand with
the reinforcement efforts which are going on 24/7. More later.