President Obama—Day 4 Post Irene—Where Is The Aid?

Dear Mr. President,

Please Help Us! I’m following up on yesterday’s post. On behalf of those living in Virginia’s Northern Neck, demand that you act and become involved in Hurricane Irene’s impact  Your conspicuous inaction is intolerable.

Here, where I’m traveling in the Northern Neck of Virginia and often spend much of a   summer, it’s day 4 after Hurricane Irene. We’re still waiting for the assistance you personally promised either Friday or Saturday. Considering the power went out in this area on Saturday—5 days ago—the lack of ice has caused many locals without power to throw a lot of their food away.

If they had a gas grill or a gas stove—and their huge gas tank cylinder didn’t float away in the storm waves as they typically do—they have been able to cook the food before it spoiled…but how could they store it without power—and without ice?  Where is your FEMA response?  This inaction must surpass far beyond Hurricane Katrina and FEMA’s response there.

Ice still today cannot be purchased in much of Northumberland County and certainly nowhere near Callao or Heathsville, which according to the National Weather Service as quoted in today’s edition of the weekly Northumberland Echo, endured the worst circumstances in all of Virginia. Not New Kent County (8 feet above water) and highlighted on TV that it  had a drive-though for ice and water brought in from as far as Florida, but nothing here in the Northern Neck for the farmers, fishermen and everyone else who is here.

This is what Northumberland Echo reported, with the italics my addition for perspective: “Irene’s greatest impact was along a swath from Roanoke Rapids (NC) to Richmond (an area far inland not subject to tidal surge) and over to the Middle Peninsula—Gloucester and Northern Neck. The winds were more prolonged, if not more powerful at their peak, than those that affected Eastern Virginia, according to the National Weather Service, and the area is more heavily wooded.”

The fact that an area is more heavily wooded is critical—falling trees are what bring down the power lines.

And make it impossible to keep food cold in ice chests unless ice is delivered by what—FEMA? Assuming there is any FEMA effort—which I have not noticed on any TV news show—it must be concentrated in the high profile areas that news media can easily reach.

Especially the Northeast, which the majority of media cover and the area where they also live.

So much for us in one of Virginia’s worst impacted areas. As my post of yesterday noted, this is the worst response ever experienced here (none) compared to 2003 Hurricane Irene and 2006 Tropical Storm Ernesto (which caused more severe damage in some areas here).

Mr. President, why don’t you ever deliver? Especially when you give your word? This could be a first opportunity to do so. Essex, Westmoreland, Northumberland and Lancaster counties are receiving nothing. If there is help/aid you have sent here, it hasn’t arrived.

Neither is the so-called aid being sent by the State of Virginia (Maybe since FEMA is incapable of doing so?). Actually, what we have here is a failure to accommodate. The Northumberland Echo also reported that “late Monday pallets of water destined for Northumberland (my county) were located at Al Pugh Distributing Co. in Warsaw (VA), a central location where supplies were sent from Virginia emergency operations for the Northern Neck localities.

They must still be there. No announcement on the radio I’ve heard of. And certainly no ice available from FEMA (Futile Emergency Mishap Activity) or the State of Virginia, still stuck in the past and under the delusion that celebrating the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War would be a tourist attraction.

Mr. President, surely you saw that even the esteemed Washington Post was belaboring/celebrating that event earlier this summer.


Or were you too offended by this Virginia-Washington celebration? There were no such observances here. These are real Americans dealing with day-to-day crises and the lack of ice is the item on their minds. We’d happily buy it but it is not available anywhere!

Barack, actually, I don’t believe I’ve heard of any FEMA response ANYWHERE  on the news. Have you broken yet one more unbreakable  vow?