It might be tempting to believe that the worst is over for the folks on the East Coast who bore the brunt of Superstorm Sandy's anger.|
After all, the imminent danger passed long ago from a storm which, at its peak, reached 1,000 miles across and left more than 100 people dead in 10 states.
But those left in its wake still must deal with the devastating aftermath of a rare winter hurricane. As of this writing, some homes and apartments still were without power. Countless victims have no home to go to or face significant rebuilding after a storm which caused damages estimated at $50 billion.
It will be a long, long road back. Quad-Citians may have a better idea than most of the work that lies ahead. Indeed, nearly 20 years removed from the Great Flood of 1993, the memories of damage and loss from one of the most costly and devastating floods in United State's history have not dimmed for those who were caught in the path of the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers. The Q-C area managed to make it back through hard work and determination. But we couldn't have done it without a lot of help from our friends. Indeed, as the Mississippi River's waters rose, and then ebbed, help poured in. The Q-C still owe a debt of gratitude to those who came to our rescue.
Rosemary Bloomfield Reynolds of Moline was among those whose people found themselves in the floodwater's path in 1993. Today, her thoughts are with the victims of Sandy as they, too, begin the difficult task of rebuilding their homes and their communities. Following is the text of a letter entitled, "Have a heart," which she sent The Dispatch/Argus seeking help for Sandy's victims:
"In 1993, my parents, Elmer and Nora Bloomfield, were flooded out the worst by Andalusia. Many people were flooded along the Mississippi. My parents had over 1,000 volunteers from around the world who helped. The people in the East, where Sandy hit, were very kind. They sent cards, money, blankets and many other things to help the flooding victims.
"Let the stories that you're hearing from the people out East pull your heart strings. If you've already donated, great job! If you haven't donated yet, take your change, your dollar bills, or whatever you can afford and ask your neighbors, family members and friends to donate also.
"Send the money to the American Red Cross or Salvation Army. In the memo, put 'For the victims of Sandy. ' From the bottom of my heart, I thank you." Rosemary Bloomfield Reynolds,
Quad-Citians already are responding generously to the crisis. Betsy Pratt, CEO of the American Red Cross of the Quad Cities Area said recently, "It is likely to be the biggest Red Cross response in the United States in the past five years. We are so grateful for the support of the Quad Cities, it is a testament to the generosity of our community that so many people are answering this urgent call for help."
That help is needed, and more, as the relief agency continues its massive response the East Coast disaster. If the terrible footage of the East Coast devastation doesn't inspire you, remember the images of a Quad-Cities under water and the response from the rest of the nation, and return the favor.
Visit www.redcross.org, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Or mail your donation to the Q-C chapter, 1100 River Drive, Moline, Illinois 61265.
The Red Cross also needs blood. The storm resulted in the loss of 11,00 blood units. To schedule a donation time to help restock the bank, visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). To give to the Salvation Army go to donate.salvationarmyusa.org/disaster. Mail donations to: Salvation Army Disaster Services Center, P.O. BOX 1959, Atlanta, GA 30301. Please designate "2012 Hurricane Season" on all checks.
Whichever avenue you choose, please heed Ms. Bloomfield Reynolds' call, and give generously.