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Some actual reporting comes from ‘Harvey’ - Albia Newspapers: Opinion

Some actual reporting comes from ‘Harvey’

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Posted: Friday, September 8, 2017 10:07 am

ONE GOOD THING about Hurricane Harvey - and that may be a stretch - was the Mainstream Media’s reaction. Reporters, editors and columnists got off their Dump/Impeach Trump kick, and created some real journalism. They researched, did wide-ranging and informative interviews, and sent their reporters and photographers to the storm sites.

Oh, there was some backsliding. There was sniping because the President didn’t go to the real hot spot: Houston. (Where Trump and his extensive motorcade would have hindered rescue and damage control. The kindest comment: “Trump’s flood visit was almost gaffe free.” And First Lady Melania offended the fashionistas: her stiletto heels (as she boarded Air Force One in metropolitan Washington) and fashionable dress were hardly proper for a flood damage visit. (By the time the plane reached Texas, Melania was suitably garbed in sneakers, baseball cap and other proper flood visit wear.

The Trumps’ two visits to Texas went well, as did his relevant Cabinet members’ appearances. As the flooding continued, the Texans were aided by Coast Guard, the entire Texas National Guard (and Guards from other states), local law enforcement and First Responders. Another Texas city sent in 100 of their own police, all volunteers.

Private boat owners - including Louisiana’s Cajun Navy - streamed in to rescue thousands of family members (and sometimes their pets) from rising flood waters.

From all across Texas and the entire nation,. volunteers and contributions stream in: money, every day necessities like diapers and baby food. A major brewery shut down its beer vats and bottled free drinking water for Texans whose water supply was contaminated by the flood.

There were looters and other crimes during this time, but Texas law has provision for this: during a crisis - and this was a crisis - sentences are increased. Previously, a home burglary might draw a two to ten years sentence. After Harvey, however that same burglary could draw a penalty up to life in prison. If that doesn’t deter an evildoer, nothing will.

And Texans displayed their state’s own “can do” approach. “We’re Texans, and we’ll get through this!’

BUT NEXT, along comes Hurricane Irma. One weather historian described it as, take the worst eight hurricanes in recorded history and add them together. That’s Irma.

As this is written, Irma has devastated Caribbean islands, en route perhaps to Florida. This will be another week, glued to the television set. It’s another national tragedy.

SISTER GRETCH AND I have our own heartache this week. We spent many childhood summers in Glacier Nation Park, while our father was a ranger naturalist there. A raging, wind-driven forest fire has now burned more than 5,000 acres, and winds are continuing to fan flames.

One historic loss was Sperry Chalet, a mountain hostel six miles up a steep trail. The chalet was built in 1915, and provided overnight and food service. Accessible only by hiking or horseback, the chalet was stocked by mule train. Last Thursday, despite the best efforts of skilled firefighters, the chalet burned to the ground.

For those who know Glacier, everything was evacuated from the south end of Lake McDonald to Logan Pass. Endangered area includes a grove of 500 year old trees, and the historic Lake McDonald Lodge.

With much of the western States and Canada afire, we get our Glacier updates from the Hungry Horse News, which is just as interesting as its name.

These are difficult times for the Texas/Louisiana coastal area, for Florida and the Caribbean isles, and for Glacier National Park.

© 2017 Albia Newspapers. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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