The Flood

Pastor Bill Van Meter locks up after checking on his church on Cumberland Road after the area flooded at Nazarene Worship Center in Hebron, Ohio on Thursday, March 15, 2012. Heavy thunderstorms compounded by hail caused Hebron, as well as other parts of Licking County, to flood. Zach Gray/The Advocate

Last month our county was flooded after four inches of rain fell in five hours. Four inches doesn’t sound like enough to flood, but in such a short amount of time the water has nowhere to go.

A town about 30 minutes from mine called Hebron got it the worst. The storm that brought the rain also produced a large amount of hail and that, along with debris, clogged several drains in Hebron and made the flood much worse.

Covering big,  breaking news is still fairly new to me. Crashes, house fires and the like are common, but things like floods, wild fires and exotic animals running wild don’t happen every day.

While shooting these events I have to make a lot of quick decisions while balancing my own safety, looking for the most telling images and trying not to be disrespectful to the unfortunate people affected by the events.  I also have to be efficient. I need to get my images back to be disseminated quickly to my community. It’s not easy to be efficient and also make quality photos.

Jacob Kirk, 11, takes a breath while cleaning the mud off the floor of Clay's Cafe the day after flooding in Hebron, Ohio on Friday, March 16, 2012. Kirk was one of several volunteers who came to help clean up the eatery. Zach Gray/The Advocate

I was impressed with the people of Hebron, which is an odd thing to feel for people you also feel sorry for. The flood affected 144 homes and many residents were evacuated on boats by emergency crews, yet I didn’t see a single person who looked distraught. I didn’t see a single tear or hear anyone complain about what they had lost in the last few hours.

Another surprise was that no one was bothered by my presence. I try to be very conscious about how I approach people I photograph, especially in delicate situations. Obviously, anyone would. I don’t usually speak to them before I begin shooting, but I always try to communicate compassion with my body language. I don’t think I’m a good communicator, but I do think I’m getting better.

It’s easy to feel compassion for people in tough situations, but it is always much harder to communicate it genuinely.

The morning after the flood I was back in Hebron to follow up on how people were dealing with the damage. The water had quickly gone back down after the drains were unclogged, so all that was left was the cleanup.

I was again impressed by this community. We chose to focus on a local cafe that is a hub of the town. There were several people in the cafe cleaning up mud and restoring base boards and nearly everyone I talked to there had no affiliation with the cafe. They merely were patrons of the restaurant and wanted to help.

As a journalist, I hope that what I’m doing is helping as well.

  • Hebron flood
  • Hebron flood
  • Hebron flood
  • Hebron flood
  • Hebron flood
  • Hebron flood
  • Hebron flood
  • Hebron flood
  • Hebron flood
  • Hebron flood
  • Hebron flood
  • Hebron flood
  • Hebron flood
  • Jacob Kirk, 11, takes a breath while cleaning the mud off the floor of Clay's Cafe the day after flooding in Hebron, Ohio on Friday, March 16, 2012. Kirk was one of several volunteers who came to help clean up the eatery. Zach Gray/The Advocate

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Pastor Bill Van Meter locks up after checking on his church on Cumberland Road after the area flooded at Nazarene Worship Center in Hebron, Ohio on Thursday, March 15, 2012. Heavy thunderstorms compounded by hail caused Hebron, as well as other parts of Licking County, to flood. Zach Gray/The Advocate

Last month our county was flooded after four inches of rain fell in five hours. Four inches doesn’t sound like enough to flood, but in such a short amount of time the water has nowhere to go.

A town about 30 minutes from mine called Hebron got it the worst. The storm that brought the rain also produced a large amount of hail and that, along with debris, clogged several drains in Hebron and made the flood much worse.

Covering big,  breaking news is still fairly new to me. Crashes, house fires and the like are common, but things like floods, wild fires and exotic animals running wild don’t happen every day.

While shooting these events I have to make a lot of quick decisions while balancing my own safety, looking for the most telling images and trying not to be disrespectful to the unfortunate people affected by the events.  I also have to be efficient. I need to get my images back to be disseminated quickly to my community. It’s not easy to be efficient and also make quality photos.

Jacob Kirk, 11, takes a breath while cleaning the mud off the floor of Clay's Cafe the day after flooding in Hebron, Ohio on Friday, March 16, 2012. Kirk was one of several volunteers who came to help clean up the eatery. Zach Gray/The Advocate

I was impressed with the people of Hebron, which is an odd thing to feel for people you also feel sorry for. The flood affected 144 homes and many residents were evacuated on boats by emergency crews, yet I didn’t see a single person who looked distraught. I didn’t see a single tear or hear anyone complain about what they had lost in the last few hours.

Another surprise was that no one was bothered by my presence. I try to be very conscious about how I approach people I photograph, especially in delicate situations. Obviously, anyone would. I don’t usually speak to them before I begin shooting, but I always try to communicate compassion with my body language. I don’t think I’m a good communicator, but I do think I’m getting better.

It’s easy to feel compassion for people in tough situations, but it is always much harder to communicate it genuinely.

The morning after the flood I was back in Hebron to follow up on how people were dealing with the damage. The water had quickly gone back down after the drains were unclogged, so all that was left was the cleanup.

I was again impressed by this community. We chose to focus on a local cafe that is a hub of the town. There were several people in the cafe cleaning up mud and restoring base boards and nearly everyone I talked to there had no affiliation with the cafe. They merely were patrons of the restaurant and wanted to help.

As a journalist, I hope that what I’m doing is helping as well.

  • Hebron flood
  • Hebron flood
  • Hebron flood
  • Hebron flood
  • Hebron flood
  • Hebron flood
  • Hebron flood
  • Hebron flood
  • Hebron flood
  • Hebron flood
  • Hebron flood
  • Hebron flood
  • Hebron flood
  • Jacob Kirk, 11, takes a breath while cleaning the mud off the floor of Clay's Cafe the day after flooding in Hebron, Ohio on Friday, March 16, 2012. Kirk was one of several volunteers who came to help clean up the eatery. Zach Gray/The Advocate

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *