Sunday, March 09, 2014

Winter in Arkasnas - Stranded Motorist, Four-Legged Babies and A Stationary Bike

Wow this had been a week - Last Sunday the rain started before we got out of church, followed by hours of freezing rain, sleet and ending with snow after we went to bed.  Little did we know when we got up Monday morning that all of Northeast AR would be shut down.

I had planned to start seeing patients in the clinic - but no electricity, internet, or phone service and hazardous road conditions kept me from starting to see patients.
The Big Man and I spent most of the day at home, trying to keep the four-legged babies (14 of the them) warm and occupied and feeding the birds.  The Big Man and youngest son did go out late Monday night to help rescue a friends daughter who was stranded about 15 miles from our home on I55 in Missouri. 
Tuesday the weather was still horribly cold and the travel conditions continued to be hazardous.  Most of the day we could see I55 (from our house) at a standstill. We went to be Tuesday night praying for warmer weather and for those stranded on I55.

On Wednesday morning we learned just how horrible the conditions were on I55. Friends were calling asking if we could help the motorist stranded - facebook was full of comments about stranded motorist on I55.  So, I called the office of emergency management (OEM)- only to be told by the OEM director  that the conditions were not as bad as everyone was making them out to be.  So, I asked why was the governor sending AR National Guard to every other county but Mississippi.  He didn't know but he said he would call me back.  Within 30 minutes he called back and said I had his full support do what needed to be done - wow wait a minute, I hadn't planned on doing anything except take care of my four-legged babies, I just wanted everyone to do what they were supposed to do. 
I spoke with the Mayor, who said the same thing, I had his full support and resources.  So, the Big Man and I opened a shelter and found places for stranded motorist to stay.  By Wednesday night there were no hotel rooms, no gasoline, and some grocery stores had empty shelves.  Stranded motorist - were truly stranded.
The shelter was opened for less than 24 hours, we were able to provide people with a warm place to sleep and a little breakfast before they got back on the road.  People think what the Big Man and I did was amazing and something extraordinary, but it was the right thing to do.
You can read the letter to the editor one of the stranded motorist wrote.
Praying for warmer weather
~ Connie ~
P.S. I did get in 2 bike rides this week on the stationary bike and the exercise felt great.


Glitter&Rainbows said...

Awesome job taking the initiative to get folks some help!

Connie Ash said...

Thank you - My husband and I have bee discussing our work in the community. During the ice storm "to world we may be one or two people but to one or two people we can be the world."