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The storm that came through our area a couple of weeks ago was unreal. Siloam Springs was not affected as much as Bella Vista. Unfortunately, our son's home there was damaged extensively when two trees fell on the house.

One tree went through the roof and ceiling of their 2-year-old daughter's bedroom. Rain poured into the room. Luckily, she was sleeping with her parents, who were understandably freaked out.

They called, waking us from sleep, frantically wondering what to do. They had no power, and there was no way to open the garage door because of the lack of any exit from the garage other than the main door. Their older car was in the driveway, but downed trees and power lines blocked their street. We felt helpless trying to figure out how to help. Eventually, they were able to make their way safely to our house around 2 a.m.

As bad as our son's situation was, it paled in comparison to what those in the Bahamas are facing. Hurricane Dorian basically destroyed that island. Insurance can take care of the repairs to my son's house. Many of the locals in the Bahamas are not so fortunate.

While no one was hurt in our storm, the death toll continues to rise in Grand Bahama and Abaco Islands. We see the pain on the faces of parents who lost children. Some of the missing may never be found. Tens of thousands are homeless. The helplessness I felt is nothing compared to that experienced by the hurricane victims.

The day after the storm in Bella Vista was sunny and clear. The insurance adjuster came by early, a restoration company started clearing out the damaged room, and a tree service removed the trees from the house by the end of the day. A tarp covered the roof. Electricity was restored. I wish tarps were all that were needed by those in the Bahamas.

When Katrina struck New Orleans we in Northwest Arkansas welcomed those displaced from the storm. Many of them stayed and became a part of our community. There are many forms of disaster, not all involve hurricanes. Terrorism by drug cartels and ruined economies caused by corrupt governments are forcing many to flee and seek refuge in the United States.

I hope we can treat these people as fellow humans. They are the wretched refuse, the tired, the poor, the homeless yearning to breathe free. America should always be the shining light of the world.

-- Devin Houston is the president/CEO of Houston Enzymes. Send comments or questions to devin.houston@gmail.com. The opinions expressed are those of the author.

Editorial on 09/11/2019

Print Headline: In the eye of the storm

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