After the storm

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Regarding Saturday night's tornadic storms that ripped across the region: They could have been worse.

That's a cliche, of course, but the nature of cliche is that there's a grain of truth to them.

As bad and damaging as the storms were, our area wasn't hit nearly as badly as the Atlanta area, where there were deaths and serious injuries. Not only did we have no storm-related fatalities, there were only a few injuries reported, and those were minor.

But by no means did our area escape unscathed. Wind speeds churned up to 135 mph in Belvedere, Clearwater and into Barnwell County, according to the National Weather Service. Considerable property damage was also reported in many other area communities -- notably Wrens, Ga., and across the river in Allendale, Barnwell, Edgefield and Aiken counties, especially Bath.

The scores of residents whose homes and businesses were destroyed or severely damaged are grateful to be alive, but for many of them that doesn't lessen the pain of suddenly finding themselves destitute or homeless.

One good thing about catastrophes is that they bring out the best in people. Friends and neighbors rally to help stricken families. Volunteers come out in force for the Red Cross, church and other charity groups to help folks deal with the tragic circumstances. Even politicians rise to the occasion in such crises.

Also to be commended are the various emergency response teams that come into play. They move fast and efficiently because of all the hours and days of training they put in.

Aiken County Sheriff Michael Hunt is to be applauded for moving quickly to impose a curfew as soon as he realized the extent of power outages and damages in the Midland Valley and North Augusta area. This discouraged would-be looters from coming out, and kept roads clear, enabling state and local responders to get to their recovery tasks quickly and unimpeded by needless traffic.

The recovery efforts will go on for months, and it could be weeks before total dollar damages will be known.

Yes, the storms could have been worse. They weren't, in part, because we were lucky -- but also because our communities are acquitting themselves well in dealing with a catastrophic event.

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christian134 03/20/08 - 04:49 am
Great article...These storms

Great article...These storms hit hit hard but from them came such an outpouring of fellowship in these communities. Folks came together to help with their labor, monies, food, shelter and to offer up prayers for each other to a mighty God for His mercies and grace. This is the American spirit bound in the bonds of loyalty and love of God that is the backbone of this great nation.

namaste 03/20/08 - 05:20 am
AMEN! Thanks and appreciation

AMEN! Thanks and appreciation to all that helped out. God Bless all of you.

karmakills123 03/20/08 - 06:10 am
Special thanks to my

Special thanks to my neighbors for all the time and effort spent helping me clear trees when their own property was in worse shape....God bless all these wonderful folks in Belvedere.

patriciathomas 03/20/08 - 07:48 am
PLEASE hire someone to read

PLEASE hire someone to read these articles before they're printed.

fd1962 03/20/08 - 08:40 am
You are really working at

You are really working at being a wet blanket today, Patricia...

lmbutler123 03/20/08 - 11:51 am
I actually agree with the

I actually agree with the article. I was astounded when the only T.V station that actually had up to date LOCAL coverage was channel 26. With all the tornadic activity in the CSRA, you would have thought that would have been the most important thing for our local channels to discuss and cover exclusively. What Obama and Clinton are saying this week about each other is completely irrelevant when your life may be in jeopardy.

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