Tropical Storm Irma blew in here last week and for many of us the impact was real, not just something we saw on television. Trees down in our yards, families without electricity for days, a curfew on our streets, and even our schools closed as we recovered from the storm.
Ronnie and I sat in our powerless house that Monday afternoon – I read a book and he listened to his scanner. The storm was not even in our area long before Flint Energies and the police and fire department began responding to calls, stopping only when the winds that blew through our area reached a dangerous level.
It is easy to take things for granted. The flip of a switch and the lights come on. We don’t think much about it, or Flint for that matter, until the bill comes every month. But the men and women of Flint Energies worked tirelessly all week to restore electricity to our community.
The email updates I received all last week reminded me that Flint’s service extends well beyond our city limits. With customers in 16 counties, more than 31,000 homes or businesses lost power because of Irma. By Friday afternoon, that number was down to 344.
Our fire department and police worked around the clock, too – as they always do – serving, protecting and helping to keep us out of harm’s way.
The evacuees from Florida added to the workload around town, but this is Warner Robins, the International City – open and welcoming to all. Churches brought in cots, meals were donated, wallets were opened as every want, every need of anyone displaced who ended up in our community was met.
When we look at the news and see the devastation that Irma brought to other areas of Georgia and to the state of Florida, we know how lucky we were here in Warner Robins to be spared the bulk of Irma’s wrath.
When we look around at the men and women who serve this community, who live in this community and see how they responded to the storm and its devastation; it seems less like luck and more like a blessing from God.
The Bible tells us that “as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.”
Thank you to all those who served last week, all those who gave, all those who waited patiently and all those who prayed. We cared, we shared, we got through Irma together.
It always seems to me that it is in the worst of times that we earn our nickname “Wonderful Robins” the most.
“Well done, thou good and faithful servant.”
Alline Kent can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.