Monday, June 16, 2008

Hey, Hollywood! Fly-Over Country Needs You!

I'm waiting.

I'm waiting for the magnitude of the flooding disaster in the Midwest to get the national attention it deserves.

Sure, the national media are interviewing victims. They showed the footage of homes in Lake Delton being swept away over and over again. That stuff makes for good TV, the incredible images of entire homes breaking apart and being carried away by water. That's made for TV. People like to watch such amazing scenes. It gets ratings.

And the human drama is compelling, people unable to hold back tears as cameras document their reactions when they return to their destroyed, flooded out homes.

Evacuees waited in line at the checkpoints Sunday to receive special wristbands that allowed them to go home and gather their belongings. Authorities set a curfew and asked the residents to stay out of the neighborhoods between 8 p.m. and 6 a.m., so people stuffed what they could into plastic bags and returned to the checkpoints.

Tracy Murphy made a beeline for her family photos when she entered her house, parts of which looked as if burglars had ransacked it. Watch Murphy return home.

"Anything can be replaced, but your photos can't," she said.

A trash can was overturned and belongings were strewn across rooms. Murphy's eyes welled up as the realization hit her: "My whole, entire life is gone."

Tens of thousands of people have been displaced.

The Midwest is a mess. Iowa has been devastated.

The damage in areas of southern Wisconsin and some points north is devastating. It may not be raining, but the flooding isn't over.

[T]he weather services' flood warning remains in effect for:
* The east branch Pecatonica River near Blanchardville, affecting Lafayette County.
* The Baraboo River at Rock Springs, affecting Sauk County.
* The Baraboo River near Baraboo affecting Sauk County.
* The Bark River near Rome affecting Jefferson County.
* The Beaver Dam River at Beaver Dam affecting Dodge County.
* The Crawfish River at Milford affecting Jefferson County.
* The Fox River near Berlin affecting Green Lake, Waushara and Winnebago counties.
* The Fox River at Waukesha affecting Waukesha County.
* The Fox River at Burlington, affecting Racine County.
* The Fox River near New Munster, affecting Kenosha County.
* The Milwaukee River near Cedarburg, affecting Ozaukee County.
* The Pecatonica River at Martintown, affecting Green County.
* The South Branch Rock River at Waupun, affecting Fond du Lac County.
* The Rock River at Horicon, affecting Dodge County.
* The Rock River at Watertown, affecting Jefferson County.
* The Rock River at Jefferson, affecting Jefferson County.
* The Rock river at Fort Atkinson, affecting Jefferson County.
* The Rock River at Newville, affecting Jefferson and Rock counties.
* The Rock river at Indianford, affecting Rock County.
* The Rock River at Afton, affecting Rock County.
* The Sugar River at Brodhead, affecting Green and Rock counties.

The flooding is a massive disaster, spanning states and impacting hundreds of thousands of Americans. That's not even considering the longer term economic consequences of the floods.

There are local efforts to assist the victims. Milwaukee stations 620WTMJ/Today'sTMJ4 will be holding a Flood Victim Telethon this Tuesday at 12pm.

Neighbors have been helping neighbors. State and local government officials are at work. FEMA has been involved; and now that President Bush has returned from Europe, he'll be touring the flood-ravaged areas.

Question: Where's Oprah?

Where are all the celebrities? Where's the NATIONAL telethon?

Why hasn't the nation rallied to assist?

Just wondering.

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