“Through A Glass Darkly” column for Sept. 5, 2012

The darkest of hurricane clouds are lined brightly by the people beneath them.

Having covered countless hurricanes as an adult and lived through others with the eyes of a child, one thing I’ve always seen is the goodness storms brings out in people.

For every person who loots, throngs open their doors to others.

For every aggressive driver, several stop to let others slide into traffic lanes.

For every person who hoards, dozens share.

At a time when people all have their own worries, many volunteer to serve in shelters.

Even more stop what they are doing to help a neighbor or a stranger who has a task that can’t be handled alone.

Before the latest storm arrived, people began helping each other fill sandbags.

Those on high ground took in those who might flood.

Those who lived in brick houses welcomed those who lived in mobile homes.

Those with cars helped those without transportation stock supplies for the coming days.

After battening down to weather the worst winds, people came out in the lingering rain to help their neighbors.

They climbed on roofs to cover holes poked by falling limbs.

They used their trucks and boats to move flooding victims to higher ground.

They took food and water to those who were cut off from the outside world by flood water.

Many Louisiana residents who still had electricity invited in those who had lost power.

Even birds and four-legged creatures benefited from the generosity of the human spirit.

In Maurepas, a man who had just lost his own home to the storm spotted a drowning fawn and dove into deep water to save it.

Those who volunteer throughout the year did triple duty.

Across the flooded southern parishes, volunteer firemen and emergency responders helped law enforcement officers and Louisiana National Guard troops conduct rescues.

Dealing with downed trees, high water and strong winds, volunteers from Livingston Parish’s District 2 Fire Department helped pluck teenagers from the Natalbany River, rescued a 95-year-old man and his wife and got a woman in labor to a hospital.

Red-eyed volunteers at other fire departments conducted countless rescues and evacuations of people who had misjudged how high the water from Hurricane Isaac would get.

Many sheriff’s deputies, police officers, National Guard troops, public works employees and utility company workers toiled exhausting hours not just for pay but for people who needed help.

Individuals going beyond job requirements or giving time to help neighbors and strangers lightened a host of dark clouds.

Advocate Florida Parishes bureau chief Bob Anderson welcomes comments by email to banderson@theadvocate.com.