Like watching a slomo train wreck

I admit I haven’t been much fun lately. I’ve been involved this week in trying to support Tampa friends from afar. This has mostly included moral support and listening to people trying to decide whether to stay or leave, with a bit of logistics assistance and a middling amount of information mining. With the storm less than 24 hours away from the city, so far the news is good (speed downgraded to Category 3, up to 125 mph) and bad (eye possibly passing right over Tampa). About half of my inner circle of friends evacuated and approximately the other half is still there, notably Pesky, and FilmProf and his wife. (I also have a college friend in Miami who’s 15 feet above sea level and has not evacuated. I hope it’s enough.)

Anyway — I feel like I do so much of this lately, one can’t ask for money infinitely, and after this month, I myself now only have pennies, but: FilmProf and Mrs. FilmProf are heavily engaged with a group called Love Has No Borders. This informal, grass-roots coalition supports Syrian, Burmese, and other refugees in the Tampa area. Mrs. FilmProf is the primary contact for a family of African refugees and she’s spent a lot of time going around to various offices with them, translating and explaining the U.S. in French, getting a state ID and a cell phone and helping their children adjust. Yesterday and today Love Has No Borders delivered seventy emergency care packages to recently-arrived refugee families, many of whom have little to no English and all of whom have no experience with hurricanes. Many of these families will shelter in the mosque on Sligh Ave, which has opened its doors and will not ask for documentation to enter.

This a grass-roots group; it doesn’t have a charity evaluation; all I can say is that I know that FilmProf and Mrs. FilmProf are highly scrupulous people and wouldn’t be involved in a scam. If you are moved, here is their wishlist of items for assistance in cleaning up when this is over. And you can support the Islamic Society of Tampa here; there’s a dedicated button for shelter relief.

And I pray it IS over — there’s another hurricane right behind Irma, apparently. Say it ain’t so, José.

 אֲשֶׁר־ל֣וֹ הַ֭יָּם וְה֣וּא עָשָׂ֑הוּ וְ֝יַבֶּ֗שֶׁת יָדָ֥יו יָצָֽרוּ׃

~ by Servetus on September 10, 2017.

9 Responses to “Like watching a slomo train wreck”

  1. We evacuated from Key West beginning on wednesday, September 7., traveling on the Florida turnpike. Traffic flowed well up to Boynton Beach where we stayed for the night. The next day, the turnpike was bumper to bumper in all lanes, sometimes as slow as 20 miles an hour, or as fast as 70. Gas is difficult to find, most stations are out. Most of Florida is on the road. We had a problem with the dar due to the stop and start driving, were towed to the car dealership where we slept in the car until they opened and they had us back on the road to Tallahassee where we are staying with our son, watching Irma approach Key West and wondering what will happen our friend who stayed there. Even the police have been evacuated.

    • Glad to hear you’re okay. Thanks for the comment and welcome.

      I had friends reporting an average speed on I-75 of 35 mph on Friday, I think, so I knew it was crowded. I’m glad they got you going again and you’re in Tallahassee. Supposedly 25% of the Key Westers stayed — it’s hard for me to understand that. I know their reasons but even so. If ever there was a time to go, this was it.

      Hope you’ll be okay in the coming weeks and months.

  2. I’m watching it hit the Florida Keys on CNN right now. Scary! Hope everyone will be OK!

  3. my brother is in FL, fortunately at this time he is on the Gulf side Pensacola and he has still booked a hotel room incase he has to leave. Friends just came up from Naples which got hit and I am glad they made it to the western part of FL, but from the talks it is now going to be going up the West coast. To all who decided to stay and to those who did not have the resources to leave, I pray that this is over soon and that they may have whatever help they need and send it to all in its wake. Niece is in GA which is in it’s path, she will be leaving with her dog. Husband is in the Navy and they will not let him come up out of the sea. Must stay on the sub. So many people involved..All we can do is pray and help in the aftermath, financially or physically.

    • Right now it looks like it will be down to Category 1 by the time it hits Tallahassee. So lots of rain in Pensacola. I hope your friends’ housing in Naples will be all right. I’m glad they’re out of the direct path. I’m hoping this is less deadly than Houston was, because people did prepare and evacuate.

  4. There is another behind Jose…these storms, fires, floods and earthquakes simultaneously happening are terrifying. It’s like the Earth is angry.

    • I’ve had that thought myself and maybe it’s not wrong. At any rate, I now understand civilizations that believed that sort of thing much better than I did a few years ago.

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