Rhode Island (my home state) got hit by a humongous amount of rain, leading to immense flooding. Looks like the Ocean State...wanted to get a little closer to the ocean. (YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEAH!!!)
(This one is going to be shorter than my usual fare, for reasons that should be obvious soon.)
That's the shopping mall that I used to go to frequently as a kid, and contained my most-frequented Gamestop (that I honestly didn't like anyway, but that's another story). There was a ton of flooding in that area that did even more damage. It's the biggest natural disaster I can remember occuring in my hometown in my lifetime. Maybe a hurricane I can't recall, and I've seen a few nasty blizzards in my day, but nothing that shut down an entire mall and displaced a bunch of citizens. The Providence Journal
reports that this is the first time this mall has completely shut down in its 40-year history.
Needless to say, this is a tragic event. There isn't really any solid idea if this mall (or other businesses in the area) will be able to re-open or not. I've heard rumors it'll be months, years, or even that the entire building will get bulldozed. Here's a more current picture of the area (albeit from a different angle)
It's pretty surreal. I know a few people who had their basements flooded, and one person who might be out of a job (but one he was going to quit soon anyway to become a police officer), but no one that got seriously screwed by this. In Rhode Island, that's actually kind of rare. And if you happen to be wondering: yes, my family and I are completely safe. Our area didn't suffer any flooding at all. For that, I am thankful. All the same, though, seeing the photos and videos of all of this is harrowing.
I got in a bit of a fight with a few old friends of mine when I cracked a few jokes about the whole event (Dead Rising: Underwater Mall edition, anyone?), and I felt bad, but really...that's just how I deal with this stuff. Yes, I completely understand why you'd want to remain solemn over something like this, an event that could have hundreds of people out of jobs (and at a wonderful time, to boot), but stressing out over it would just lead me to be even more stressed than I already am (for those of you who have been playing along at home, I've been unemployed since December).
It's just...I dunno, I need to create humor in situations like this. I know this isn't exactly a new thought, but I feel it is important to remain even somewhat upbeat even in dark times, otherwise you're just going to crush yourself in misery, grief, and whatever else. I certainly had a realization today, though, that I have to be careful with what I say to whom - especially on a service like Facebook. I guess we all learn something in times of tragedy, right?
That's all I've got, really. I sent a few of these photos to a friend of mine in Minnesota, and he had no idea anything at all had happened to us out here in the smallest state. He asked (paraphrasing), "Why isn't this the cover story on every news publication out there?" I honestly don't know. It's a big deal, especially to those of us out here seeing it with our own eyes.
Update: I'm adding one more photo that really shows the entire mall, courtesy of the Providence Journal (linked above). Surreal.
LOOK WHO CAME: