Devastation close to home

Deadly storms in South put our problems in sobering perspective

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With hurricanes and floods, you often get some kind of warning. In many cases, you know when you put up stakes that you live in a zone frequented by them. Even earthquakes, as unpredictable as they are, occur most often in certain areas.

Tornadoes may be the most criminal of nature's whims. They dip down from the sky, often in the dark, whipping away man's labors and stealing his dreams like a thief. It's nearly impossible to build structures that are tucked away from tornadoes or that can easily stand up to them.

And, unlike floods and hurricanes, a tornado's damage is heartlessly fickle. The skies can pick and choose victims in erratic, hopscotch ways, often mere feet from each other.

So it is that we in Augusta woke up Thursday morning to learn of the devastation in parts of Georgia and Tennessee -- but mostly Alabama, where long-standing communities were left in splinters within minutes.

It appears to have been a dry-land, spread-out mini-Katrina. It will take days to assess the destruction, and years to pick up the pieces on the ground and in the survivors' hearts. At least 270 have died in six states.

All this, just down the highway.

Those of us spared the wrath of the clouds should count our blessings today, embrace the dullest of routines and celebrate the trivialities we normally think of as problems.

And keep our neighbors in our thoughts and prayers and charitable acts.

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Riverman1 04/29/11 - 06:51 am
The same front passed through

The same front passed through here yesterday morning displaying enormous energy with lightning constantly illuminating the dark. As I drove to work it was eerie like a Sci-Fi movie where the earth is being destroyed. The lightning was bizarre with flashes one after the other, never stopping. I saw a video of a house destroyed in Alabama where a torn child's shirt somehow stayed on a hanger and gently flapped in the breeze amid the destruction.

tcsnider 04/29/11 - 08:31 pm
My son-in-law's mother lost

My son-in-law's mother lost her house in Pisgah, AL, in the Wednesday storm system. Seeing pictures of their disaster leaves me puzzled how they are still even living with only minor injuries. Please keep all of them in your prayers as they attempt to recover from this week's events.

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