CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – Months have passed since the deadly floods in Wimberley, Texas, but not a day goes by that Jonathan McComb doesn’t think about them.
McComb lost his wife, two young children, and several close friends when their house was swept away by the floodwaters.
He was the only one who made it out alive.
McComb has spent the six months since the flood recovering and paying homage to the friends and family he lost. He said his first dream about his family since he lost them was vivid. They were in a pastoral paradise when his daughter ran up to him.
“She said, ‘We didn’t make it, Daddy. You did. We got picked up by a man in the river — and it was Jesus. And we are in Heaven.’ And I woke up immediately and I looked for them and knew they weren’t there, and tried to get back in that dream. That was a big dream for me. I pray to have that dream every night before I go to bed.”
McComb and his dog, Maggie, are all that’s left of his family. “Just me and her now… A lot of good memories”, said Jonathan McComb.
Five months ago, McComb, his wife Laura, his six-year-old son Andrew, and four-year-old daughter Leighton were staying in a riverside home in Wimberley, Texas, for the 2015 Memorial Day weekend with two other families.
Like so much else, the home — with nine people inside — was swept away by a wall of water that came down the Blanco River. As they huddled in the moving structure, Jonathan says he never lost faith.
“I prayed quite a bit going down the river,” he said. “Even as we were together, we prayed, and by myself, I prayed.”
The terrifying scene in the dark of night got worse when their floating house hit a bridge and then began to fall apart. The wrenching moments that followed are now his private pain. McComb will only pick up the story much further downstream, where he continued — in more ways than one — with his struggle to be the lone survivor.
“At one point underwater, I just said, ‘I am done,'” McComb told us. “I said, ‘Take me home, I am going to Heaven,’ and I just went limp underwater.”
Somehow, he held on. Badly battered, with broken ribs and a collapsed lung, McComb made it to a beach, scaled a cliff, and reached a house.
“Where I got out was either 9 or 12 miles down the river,” he said.
McComb was cared for by a kind stranger there. The stranger later placed a stone marker at the spot where McComb made it, and dedicated it to his family.
Over the last several months, McComb has gathered a lot of frames and set out on a mission at home to memorialize all the life his loved ones lived, captured in pictures. In addition to putting up photos, McComb has kept his kids’ rooms as they were, left their backpacks hanging on the wall, and maintained their play table as happily messy as it was when it was the domain of his children.
He still wears his wedding ring. And he happily picks out landmarks all over Corpus Christi that remind him of cherished family time.
Others keep the memories alive, too. Yellow ribbons still cling to trees in Corpus Christi in remembrance of the local families lost in the Wimberley floods, including members of the McComb family and their close friends in the Carey and Charba families.
As bad as his personal loss was, Jonathan says the tragedy has brought about a remarkable showing of positivity and togetherness that goes far beyond his local community.
“I am just humbled by all the love and support from everybody, and all the humanity,” McComb said.
There have been thousands of people who have been involved: search and recovery volunteers, the people who’ve offered meals, those who have prayed unceasingly, and the friends and perfect strangers who have reached out from around the world to offer uplifting messages that are still pouring in.
Jonathan McComb sees those messages when he logs on to his wife’s Facebook page. She was clearly loved.
“I have sat there before thinking it was 30 minutes,” McComb said, “and two-and-a-half hours later, I’m still sitting there, crying and struggling to read the screen through my tears.”
He says there have been plenty of tears or sorrow; but many tears of joy, too.
Some steadfast volunteers are still looking for his daughter and still looking for the body of six-year-old William Charba. The volunteers still looking have a special place in the hearts of the families involved. “We can’t thank you enough,” McComb said.
He waits for the remaining bodies to be found, so all involved can get closure. Until then, he takes comfort that, like his wife and son, his young daughter was a good Christian, “And whether she is laid to rest in the river somewhere or in a coffin, I know where she is at the end… and that’s Heaven.”
He also prays regularly that those still missing will be found. This GoFundMe account has been set up to help fund the expensive effort being undertaken by non-profit search organizations to keep the search going.
80 Million Stimulus Check Direct Deposits Have Been Processed. When Will They Arrive?
Americans will start to see their stimulus payments this week, a centerpiece of the $2.2 trillion rescue package meant to provide a buffer against the coronavirus pandemic that’s shuttered much of the U.S. economy.
The Internal Revenue Service has begun sending $1,200 payments to middle and lower income adults, plus $500 for their minor children, though it could take until September for every eligible person to get the money.
The first payments “should be deposited directly into individuals’ bank accounts; the precise date you will see payments in your account depends on how long individual banks typically take to process direct deposits,” according to a press release from House Ways and Means Committee Republicans.
The IRS will first send the money to individuals for whom the agency has direct deposit information. The remainder will be mailed as checks. That process is expected to begin April 20 but could take until the fall to complete.
The IRS processed more than 80 million payments on Friday that should be available in bank accounts early this week, Sunita Lough, the IRS deputy commissioner for services and enforcement, said in a video conference Monday.
Payments will be made first to those earning the least.
The IRS has launched a tool for non-tax filers, such as those who had income under $12,200 last year and weren’t required to file a federal return, to enter direct deposit information to get their payments.
The agency plans to have a second website up by April 17 that will show people the status of their payments, including the date the money is scheduled to be deposited or mailed. That tool will also let people who’ve typically gotten their tax refund in the mail to provide their bank account details to get their stimulus payment more quickly.
The IRS is using information from 2018 and 2019 tax returns to process the payments. It says taxpayers who’ve yet to file a return this year should do so as soon as possible, and elect to receive the refund via a direct deposit. The information can then be used to distribute the stimulus payments. Social Security and disability recipients will receive their payments automatically.
The tax deadline was extended to July 15 from April 15 to give people more time to file and pay during the pandemic.
Taxpayers who don’t need extra time and who expect to get a stimulus payment should file as soon as possible so the agency has their most up-to-date details on file, said Christina Taylor, head of operations for Credit Karma Tax.
“The quicker, the better,” she said.
Americans earning $75,000 or less, or $150,000 and below as a couple, are eligible for the full $1,200 payout per adult, plus $500 for each child under 17. Those amounts are reduced for people with higher incomes, and people who make $99,000 or more in earnings (or $198,000 for a couple) get nothing, even if they have children. Individuals must have a Social Security number to receive a payment.
A Case of Hantavirus Has Been Reported in China. Here’s Why You Shouldn’t Worry.
A man who died in China Monday reportedly tested positive for a hantavirus, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you should worry another pandemic is coming…
A man who died in China Monday reportedly tested positive for a hantavirus, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you should worry another pandemic is coming.
Hantaviruses are a family of virus that spread through rodents, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
In Yunnan Province, a man died on his way back to Shandong Province, according to Global Times, an English-language Chinese news outlet.
“He was tested positive for #hantavirus. Other 32 people on bus were tested,” the news outlet tweeted.
The tweet, sent amid a pandemic caused by a new coronavirus, has been shared more than 15,000 times.
Though countries across the globe are on high alert due to uncertainty around the coronavirus, there is no indication that the hantavirus poses a global public health threat.
According to the CDC, hantavirus cases are rare, and they spread as a result of close contact with rodent urine, droppings or saliva.
Certain kinds of rats and mice in the United States can carry the virus, which is transmitted when someone breathes in contaminated air.
“The hantaviruses that cause human illness in the United States cannot be transmitted from one person to another,” the CDC says on its website. Rare cases in Chile and Argentina have seen person-to-person transmission when a person is in close contact with someone sickened by a type of hantavirus called Andes virus, the CDC says.
In the U.S., the virus can cause hantavirus pulmonary syndrome, a severe respiratory disease that can be fatal. Symptoms include fatigue, fever, muscle aches, headaches, dizziness, chills, and abdominal problems. Coughing and shortness of breath can occur later in the disease as the lungs fill with liquid, the CDC says,
Hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome, found mostly in Europe and Asia, can also occur, which causes pain, fever, chills, nausea, and blurred vision, the CDC says. More serious symptoms include acute kidney failure.
Cases in the United States have typically been concentrated in the western and southwestern states.
From 1993 to 2017, there were only 728 confirmed hantavirus cases in the United States, with most being non-fatal, according to CDC data. In comparison, since late January, when the first known coronavirus case was identified in the U.S., there have been 46,805 confirmed coronavirus cases nationwide, according to a Johns Hopkins University tracker.
In May 1993, a hantavirus outbreak occurred in an area between Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado and Utah. A 2012 outbreak in Yosemite sickened 10 people. In seven states, 17 people were infected in a 2017 outbreak.
Developments in Presidential Race, Trump does Terribly at Forum as Clinton shines
November is lurking around the corner and will be here before you know it, so my question to you is, have you decided who you will vote for? I have, and I proudly say my choice is Hillary Rodham Clinton. I am informing you all that there are ample development in the race for the presidency of the United States…
November is lurking around the corner and will be here before you know it, so my question to you is, have you decided who you will vote for? I have, and I proudly say my choice is Hillary Rodham Clinton. I am informing you all that there are ample development in the race for the presidency of the United States.
First of all, Donald Trump, according to Kristina Vong’s article at Thehill.com, wrongly corrected a veteran Marine during a forum. The veteran, a woman named Rachel Fredericks, asked Mr. Trump how he plans to stop 20 veterans from committing suicide, daily. Trump tried to correct the woman, who needed no correction. He said it is actually 22, trying to emerge correct, when he was essentially incorrect.
Mr. Trump also does not have a real plan to defeat ISIS, as “his plan is to have a plan” according to Igor Bobic at the Huffington Post. He also insulted military leaders calling them embarrassments to the country when they were under President Obama. He wants to give the generals 30 days to come up with a plan to defeat ISIS. Of course, this even makes it more obvious that Mr. Trump does not have a plan to defeat ISIS. Why, then did he call our current president the founder of ISIS? How can you give your vote to someone so unprepared and unfit for the presidency that constitutes a whole country? Sorry to say, but Donald Trump is not someone to vote for, at least not as US President!
According to Sean Colarossi at PoliticusUSA.com, a presidential forum highlighted how prepared Trump and Clinton are compared to each other, with Clinton appearing as the more prepared one, very easily. Clinton was engaged with questions, expressed gratitude, and was very prolific and intelligible in her responses. To reiterate, Trump has not a plan to defeat ISIS, where Hillary has a well thought-out plan. She outlined her plan, entailing it could take any form and she iterated and supports the idea that terror suspects should not be able to purchase firearms. Clinton also covered issues like mental health, illuminating the fact that it is overlooked, and mental health should no longer be stigmatized and victims of mental disorders should have access to resources. On the other hand, Trump gave generic answers like that he knows what is going on in the world. Also according to Colarossi’s article, Trump showed as an “empty suit” and “showed he is not prepared to be commander-in-chief” and that the contrast between him and Clinton could not be clearer”; this essentially means Clinton showed to be immensely more prepared to lead and did not focus on attacking others, like Trump’s approach does.
Lastly, Donald Trump has insulted women, children, ethnic groups, religious groups, his opponent, our current president, the military, and the list goes on. He is patronizing and unprepared to preside over our country as well. He constantly attacks others, with no action in mind. Consider if you want to have him as president, seriously!
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