“Into every life, a little rain must fall.”
This old adage is meant metaphorically. That each person will face troubles in their lifetime. Sometimes, the metaphor becomes literal.
While the rains may have ended in our region Monday night, they continued falling as they moved north. Three days of sunshine and clear skies later, the combination of what fell here and what fell to the north and flowed south converged.
On a bright Thursday morning, several Valdosta and Lowndes County residents faced calamity. Rising waters threatened their houses and businesses. Authorities helped some people evacuate. Others held their breath as water flowed closer to properties, flooding yards and roadways.
For many residents, Thursday was a nightmarish deja vu of the 2009 floods that caused thousands of dollars of property damage in various areas throughout Valdosta. Many of these same people could only watch helplessly Thursday as the houses they had repaired from flooding four years ago were swamped in water again.
Meanwhile, throughout the week, the rising Withlacoochee River has caused sewage from the City of Valdosta’s Withlacoochee Wastewater Treatment Plant to spill into the waterway. From Monday to Thursday, more than 15 million gallons of partially treated wastewater and an estimated five million gallons of raw sewage had flowed from the overwhelmed city treatment plant — the same 40-year-old plant that has deteriorated to a point where portions of the operation can no longer operate on the best of days.
While we can all consider that old saying about a little rain falling into each life as a warning that troubles are inevitable, city leaders should have long ago grasped that it also serves as cautionary advice.
Through experience, the city should have known that areas flooded in 2009 may flood again at some future date when faced with similar conditions. These conditions returned this week, but nothing has been done in the past four years to halt a repeat of the 2009 flooding.
Also, since that flood, the city knew the wastewater treatment plant could no longer withstand heavy rains and a non-stop influx of rising waters. Given the plant’s aging infrastructure, the city may also face environmental penalties in the form of tainted waterways and payments to the feds until the problem is resolved.
These situations remind us of another old, yet appropriate, quote.
Before he was the 34th American President, Dwight D. Eisenhower was the supreme commander of Allied Forces in World War II. He oversaw the operations of D-Day, the most massive invasion in human history. Eisenhower said, “In preparing for battle, I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.”
A better plan may not have resolved the issues faced by the city and within the city this week, but better planning may have had officials and residents better prepared for an occasion when more than a little rain fell.
“Into every life, a little rain must fall.”
- What We Think
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For one night, you can indulge your sweet tooth while contributing to a worthy cause at the same time.
Historic day celebrated
On January 1, 1863, Pres. Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, announcing that all persons held as slaves within the rebellious areas are and henceforth shall be free.
How this garden grew
A special-needs couple wanted a garden. A teacher not only wanted to teach gardening skills but she also wanted to instill a sense of community purpose within her young students.
Happy Father’s Day
He beamed with pride on our birth. He understood worry upon our birth. He is the giant by which we would judge all men. He protected us. He provided for us. He often sacrificed time with us to provide for us. He spent time with us.
THUMBS UP: To Stevie Young of Valdosta. The owner of Artistic Taxidermy, Young won Best in the World, Turkey, in the 2013 World Taxidermy Championship. His eastern wild turkey display dominated the competition, earning him the distinction of best in the world. Another title for TitleTown!
Canning preserves food, way of life
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PSST!: Round Two!
With tonight’s opening of “The Marvelous Wonderettes,” Peach State Summer Theatre presents its second show of the 2013 season.
A responsible fix for pets
The photo and story in Sunday’s paper about the dog whose owners had left him tied up with an electrical cord elicited a tremendous response from readers, outraged at the dog’s treatment.
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The announcement Monday by the Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities that a crisis stabilization center will be built in Lowndes County is good news for some, not so great for others.
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Twenty-some years ago, it seemed Valdosta and South Georgia slowed down for the summer. School was out. Controversies seemed to dwindle. People seemed to work shorter hours despite the longer days.
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