Hurricane Michael Hit My Hometown

My family escaped with relatively little damage, although my mother has not yet returned home. My loved ones are safe. Our homes are still standing. Our local paper, The Albany Herald, has published lots of photos of the damage around town. People are standing in line for gas. The Georgia National Guard has distributed generators and coolers.

My mother went home briefly to throw away the food in the refrigerator and freezer and to get more clothes before returning to her brother’s house 90 miles away. Also, her brother and sister-in-law made a hair appointment for her so she could feel taken care of. Those simple acts are not options for people who don’t have the resources that my family has. I know there are people who will not throw away all of their perishables. Even though Albany has been without power, which means without adequate refrigeration, for days. Even though the health department is practically begging people to do so. Our lives have been disrupted. This storm will have cost our family thousands of dollars once the final tally is in. I’ve been sick with worry. But we’re among the lucky ones. My mother is retired. She doesn’t have to worry about missing work. (Even when my mother was working, she was a professor and wouldn’t have lost wages as a result of this storm.) We’re solidly working-class by most measures. But we have homeowner’s insurance and some savings. Not much. And we’ll certainly feel the pinch in the coming months. But our home hasn’t been reduced to a pile of rubble. We don’t face the daunting task of completely rebuilding. And our family has resources to pool.

The Washington Post published an article on Albany yesterday. It was a lovely article, but a sad one. It outlined the beating that my poor city has taken due to recent natural disasters. Yes, that’s disasters. Plural. We had two tornadoes in January 2017. (I think technically one of those storms was not a tornado but something else, like straight-line winds, but people back home colloquially think of both storms as tornadoes, as I do. I imagine that’s why WaPo only referenced one tornado.) Also, Hurricane Irma did some damage in 2017. I swear that place is cursed or something.

What pissed me off was the comments section. I know, I know, rule #1 is that you never read the comments section. The callousness and glee with which so many commenters, mostly white liberals, wished death and destruction on us. Said that they hoped we’d all drown. That we were a bunch of leeches. I don’t have any more to say about that. I’m just happy my family is safe.

Yolonda WilsonComment