Raleigh, NC – Headlines have done little to make real for most of us what devastation, loss of life and economic livelihoods have occurred because of these disasters.
It is hard for me to recall a time in my adult life that so many natural disasters have occurred in such a compressed period of time. To me it seems like it began with the Japan earthquakes and tsunamis resulting in the reactor melt downs and now with the flood waters on the Mississippi Delta.
On April 15th and 16th it hit a closer to home literally in my neighborhood when a fast moving storm system raged from St. Louis to Virginia leaving 45 dead.
When it arrived in North Carolina on April 16th it was moving at 65 miles per hour and in a matter of just a few minutes it was over leaving two dozen dead, 800 homes and business destroyed and thousands to try to make sense of what had happened. A mere 11 days later another tornado storm system rampaged across Alabama leaving the official death toll in its wake standing at 238.
Two weeks ago over adult beverages with a friend of mine at the Cardinal Club in Downtown Raleigh and perched 29 floors above the ground and with a nearly unobstructed view of Raleigh I was struck by the blue tarp covered roofs. My companion that day was a homeowner in the fashionable Mordecai historic neighborhood and she had a different perspective because her home was one of the blue tarp roofs that could be seen from that vantage point.
What she said to me was striking and it has been etched in my mind ever since and has helped inspire me to write about this.