While some Hays residents were posting social media memes and critical comments about vehicles submerged in water with Friday’s rains, others were busy dealing with the aftermath of flooded basements and loss of possessions.
Sase Fleenor was one of the latter. Friday night, after she and her husband drove home seven hours from a family wedding in Missouri, she posted a live Facebook video to talk about the damage to her home on 17th Street and her frustration with what she called a lack of tact from some in the community.
Fleenor said as they traveled, she saw humorous memes being posted that upset her.
“I saw a local radio station and a city commissioner posting funny memes and laughing about the devastation that many families are feeling right now,” she said.
She didn’t call either of them out by name in the video, but Saturday showed The Hays Daily News a post from a local radio station of an orca jumping out of water on a city street and that Commissioner Shaun Musil shared it, along with more than 40 other people.
Fleenor said she was “disgusted” by the lack of tact and compassion shown.
Attempts to contact the radio station Saturday via phone and Facebook were unsuccessful.
When asked about the meme Saturday at his downtown business, Musil immediately took out his phone and deleted the post from his Facebook timeline and offered an apology. He said he had not seen Fleenor’s video.
“I totally get it,” he said when Fleenor’s frustration was explained.
“Definitely I feel horrible for the people who have dealt with the flooding. I definitely meant nothing by it.
“When they’ve dealt with that, what they’re dealing with, there’s nothing funny about it,” he said.
“To people I offended, please accept my apology,” Musil said.
Fleenor said no one from the city had been in contact with her about the flooding, and she thought the city should at least issue some kind of official statement.
Gov. Jeff Colyer, a Hays native, did stop by her home after the Wild West Festival parade Saturday, Fleenor said, and spoke with her and her family.
Social media comments about her husband’s pickup also were upsetting, Fleenor said. The Chevy truck was swept to the other side of the street and the water caused electrical problems that left the truck’s lights on. That could be seen in videos, including one posted by The HDN. Fleenor said she saw comments that people thought someone was dumb for trying to drive through the floodwaters.
“I just think people need to have a lot more tact,” she said.
“Everybody talks about Hays being such a great supportive community,” she said, but only family, friends and the staff of her business, Rejuvinations Salon, had come out to help with the cleanup, she said.
She also was frustrated that in dealing with her own home, she could not go help her aunt, whose basement apartment had been completely flooded.
“I can’t even make it down to her house. I’m pretty sure she has nowhere to (expletive) live,” she said.
“I’m not bitching about Hays,” she said. “It is just surprising the people who are making jokes about it on Facebook.”