Hello, Valdosta!

Monday night at 6:50pm I got a call from my employer directing me to rent a car and be in Valdosta, Georgia this morning (Tuesday) at 8:30am.

What followed was a whirlwind of activity culminating in 3 hours of sleep and an early morning drive up Florida’s Turnpike and I-75 to the “Azalea City” and most of the rest of the day driving around the city with damage assessment teams in the morning and with congressional VIP’s and City officials in the afternoon.

The olfactory highlight of the day was a tour of the wastewater treatment plant that city workers and volunteers heroically and successfully (for the most part) managed to save from flood waters over a 4 day period last week. Their unselfish work averted even more serious problems that would have arisen for at least half of the city population. Kudos to all.

The saddest part of the day was touring homes and neighborhoods that were flooded, some with the water reaching the eaves of the houses and consequently damaging not only the physical structure but the lives of those within.

NOTE: This is a cellphone photo and thus not the best quality, but I was trying to be unobtrusive and considerate of those who had suffered through this flood.

Thankfully, throughout all this, no one was injured and no lives have been lost. But the impact will be felt for a long time.

I am tired so it is off to bed. I have an early morning drive to Thomasville for an 8am meeting and it will take an hour to get there, according to GoogleMaps.

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