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Thursday, Oct. 23, 2014

Storm's wrath fails to dampen spirits

Thursday, May 9, 2002

When you awoke this morning you probably recognized the forces of nature. Dawn this morning brought a scene of substantial destruction resulting from the freakish spring weather that has plagued Southeast Missouri. To this point, Sikeston had been spared. No more.

It's far too early to assess the total damage but it appears that the windstorm was widespread and left a clear path of its force. Trees that have seen decades are no more.

I've said it before when the tornado that struck here over 15 years ago. We are all at the mercy of Mother Nature. We can recognize that fact and prepare for it in some ways but the bottom line is that Mother Nature can leave her mark and we are helpless to change that.

To their credit, city crews were out in force this morning untangling the damage caused overnight. It will be days if not weeks before the evidence of last night's storm leaves our community. In many ways, these scars will remain for years.

But as I drove the streets of Sikeston in the early morning hours, I noticed one heartening fact. Neighbors were out on virtually every street, assessing their damage and, in many instances, coming to the aid of their neighbors. I drove along one street where literally dozens of people were already in their yards, picking up debris and visiting with neighbors about their damage. Three men were assisting in removing a large tree that crossed a road. I stopped to assist and was soon joined by yet another neighbor. That scene was repeated on dozens of occasions that I witnessed.

When the dust (mud) clears later today, hopefully the overall damage will be less than it currently appears. We have reliable electrical service and an active city work force to assist in this clean-up. But underlying these efforts are neighbors. And that, I believe, says much about our community.



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