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Missing and Presumed Dead After Ike

galveston-after-ike.jpgOne week after Ike, electricity is returning, water and sewage is still a problem, and authorities are worried about disease if people try to return too soon. But one question is nagging at me more and more each day: where are the folks who tried to ride it out in the towns that disappeared?

A clergy friend of mine in the Houston area told me that he and other pastors are holding their breath, expecting the death toll to be big — eventually. After Katrina, the searchers found plenty of death waiting for them in the Lower 9th Ward from the flooding and destruction. After Ike, however, the dead are going to be very hard to find, if they get found at all.

In the brutally blunt words of one of his native Texan friends, "many of the folks who tried to ride it out are probably either feeding sharks in the Gulf or gators in the bayous."

We’re going to get the death toll when the Postal Service figures out a system to deliver mail to addresses that no longer exist, and no one comes to claim that mail. We’re going to get the death toll when businesses reopen and people not only don’t show up to work but don’t get in contact with their old boss. We’re going to get the death toll when banks discover that formerly active accounts are suddenly dormant.

They’ve set up a "Missing Persons" hotline in Galveston, and those who want to help can find a lot of good suggestions here.

But prepare yourselves now: if my friend and his clergy buddies are right, the words "Missing and Presumed Dead" will become very, very familiar.

(photo h/t Coast Guard News)

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Peterr

Peterr

I'm an ordained Lutheran pastor with a passion for language, progressive politics, and the intersection of people's inner sets of ideals and beliefs (aka "faith" to many) and their political actions. I mostly comment around here, but offer a weekly post or two as well. With the role that conservative Christianity plays in the current Republican politics, I believe that progressives ignore the dynamics of religion, religious language, and religiously-inspired actions at our own peril. I am also incensed at what the TheoCons have done to the public impression of Christianity, and don't want their twisted version of it to go unchallenged in the wider world. I'm a midwesterner, now living in the Kansas City area, but also spent ten years living in the SF Bay area. I'm married to a wonderful microbiologist (she's wonderful all the way around, not just at science) and have a great little Kid, for whom I am the primary caretaker these days. I love the discussions around here, especially the combination of humor and seriousness that lets us take on incredibly tough stuff while keeping it all in perspective and treating one another with respect.

And Preview is my friend.

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