Wednesday, September 10, 2008

When you think it can't get any worse...

As we move about in Les Cayes today, we see the sun shining, people are going about their business and things seem to have returned to normal. However, this is not the case.

We thought that when it quit raining, the rivers would subside, the roads would dry up, and things would return to normal...well at least normal for Haiti. We received news yesterday that in the town of Miragoane there is a big problem. Miragoane is on the northern coast of the southern penninsula about halfway between Les Cayes and Port-au-Prince. Some of you might remember it as the place where they had a restaurant in the middle of the road. About 2 miles outside of town towards Port there is a river that flows across the road and into a large lake. That river flooded, the lake filled and flooded, and the road has disappeared. For a while people would arrive there and shut down their engines and then pay to have their vehicles pushed across the river so as not to flood out their engines. Then it got too deep for that and the people would ride across in buses. Then it got too deep for that. The next solution was to arrive at the river/lake and pay to be ferried across in a boat where they would then board another bus and continue on. Not too many days ago a boat capsized because there were too many people aboard and two people died. Now the UN has completely shut down the road there, even to the extent of putting up chains to prevent people from trying to cross.

The problem is that the lake has no outflow. There is no drainage for the lake. The water will stay across the road until it evaporates. Unless they come up with some kind of solution it could be a long time until the road opens again.

What does this mean for Les Cayes and southern Haiti? This means that all traffic going out the southern penninsula will shut down. As a result everything in Les Cayes and southern Haiti will be in short supply and more expensive. We tried to fill the tanks of our vehicles today and there is no diesel for sale. We also tried to fill our gas cans with gas and they will not sell gas that way. They will only sell gas if you put it into a motorcycle or car. We are going to town today to try to stock up against shortages. This is the first I've ever heard of stocking up after a hurricane. Please pray for RMI missionaries and staff and for your Sister Churches as we don't know what the next days will bring.

God bless you!

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