Thursday Morning, June 26



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 what’s 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 haven’t 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 it’s all amazingly

smooth and efficient. The New Orleanians forgot to sign in so we

screwed up their entire intake process. Big surprise.

We’ve just learned that a critical levee in the

town of Hull is in jeopardy so we’re racing there to lend a hand with

the reinforcement efforts which are going on 24/7. More later.

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