President Obama, Where Is the Ice, Water & Food You Promised After Hurricane Irene?

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Hurricane Irene is my third natural disaster here on the Potomac River in Virginia’s Northern Neck, which was under a “hurricane warning” with Irene, the highest level of hurricane risk according to NOAA: “An announcement that hurricane conditions (sustained winds of 74 mph or higher) are expected somewhere within the specified coastal area.”

So, President Obama—known for sounding good but never delivering–where is the Ice, Water and Help you personally promised would be provided? It’s Tuesday, 3 days since Hurricane Irene visited our region with its storm damage and taking out electrical power for virtually everyone.

Which means Water, Ice and Help (food!)should have been readily available here by Sunday afternoon—all of daylight Sunday was quiet and tranquil and there sure was plenty of advance warning, as you told us—but nothing provided Sunday. A very different scenario compared to the aftermath following Hurricane Isabel and Tropical Storm Ernesto which actually delivered more damage to our area.

FEMA and the Red Cross were available in both prior instances (2003 & 2006 under President G.W. Bush) would have been available by at least Monday. Not here! President Obama, where was the Water, Ice and Help (food!) you personally promised after interrupting your vacation early only because Martha’s Vineyard( summer colony for high-profile residents, movie stars, writers, artists and politicians) also was threatened.

President Obama, your promise for Water, Ice and Help (food!)via FEMA or whatever is typical of all your promises—full of sound and fury and signifying nothing. Some examples:

My wife and I evacuated to ride out Hurricane Irene and follow the voluntary evacuation order that a shelter for us was open, that the road to our area would be closed from noon Saturday until Sunday morning, that we should expect hurricane force winds and expect a 5-foot storm surge and 8 inches of rain. Only one aspect of the advisory was incorrect. We had 14 inches of rain.

We received that printed warning personally delivered by a Sheriff’s deputy and signed by Northumerland’s County Administrator Kenneth D. Eades. He’s a person most of who have been here for anytime have come to trust. It’s not up to him to provide the Water, Ice and Help (food!)that you, President Obama, promised in your Saturday speech of “concern.”

On Monday, near the Best Western in Warsaw, VA, we evacuated to, we saw EMS vehicles setting up a huge staging area in a huge nearby parking lot. There were porta-toilets, a mobile home for showers and several huge revival-style tents with what appeared to be red picnic-style tables. Since most of the parking lot was marked off with yellow crime scene-type ribbon, the space was being saved for a lot of people. Since Linda noted one of tents said “Mess Tent,” it was probably for the huge crew of bucket truck drivers who had suddenly arrived in the area. Give them whatever they need!

Ironically, the Exxon station next to this staging area still had no power. As for the rest of us, there was no Water, Ice and Help (food!)

No mention on radio or TV as in the past where President’s Obama promise of Water, Ice and Help (food!)would be available. The American Red Cross, also a prominent presence in previous disasters, this week has been prominent by its absence.

President Obama, it’s now Tuesday and we here in Northumberland County fared better with help in 2003 and 2006. Churches are the only ones I hear on radio providing food for those without power or whose private wells were flooded (that would be anyone on the coast). Some YMCAs are offering free showersto those needing them. All the assistance is local.

As for FEMA or any other form of promised federal presence, that aid is nowhere in sight. Or ever mentioned on the radio about where Water, Ice and Help (food!)might be found.

In Heathsville, VA, the only major supermarket for miles around—a Food Lion— regained its power just today.

You can’t buy Iceanywhere around here. If it’s available from FEMA, it’s a well kept secret.

President Obama, your promise of Water, Ice and Help (food!)is like all of your others. Impotent words by an ineffective President.

We had far more help following Hurricane Isabel and Tropical Storm Ernesto. Once again you’ve proven you can’t deliver. We might fare better if you would just butt out.

You’ve certainly confirmed (once again) you cannot be relied upon. Your words, while well spoken, are empty and meaningless. Always . . .