On Wednesday, we received the notification that our boil water advisory had been lifted. On Thursday, we found out that the two blocks Garners Ferry that experienced 18 ft. of flooding would partially reopen. In the wake of this news, there were shouts of acclamation coming from our house!
There is a temptation now to say that everything is better here in the Midlands. And quite honestly, everything is improving in the movement and structure of our community. It is critically important for the infrastructure of our community begin to function again so that businesses can reopen and people can begin to go to work again, kids can begin to go to school again, and we can move out of crisis mood. In the midst of the transition, however, we can’t forget there are people being told that not only can they not live in their houses, they also cannot rebuild on the same land their house is on. There are people finding out after FEMA inspectors have been to their homes that they will receive no payment because their damage was not significant enough. There are people who are finding out that what FEMA can offer is significantly less than what will be required to rebuild.
Yes, our water is normal. Yes, our roads are reopening. No, we are not back to normal. The Midlands community will continue to heal and will continue to rebuild, but the road ahead is still filled with washed out roads, tears, and tired, hurting people.