Storms’ effects give a reason for thanks in our community

Published 12:00 am Saturday, May 3, 2014

Thanksgiving came early for Vicksburg and Warren County residents once Monday’s stormy skies overhead cleared. We can say that now, as residents whose homes were damaged by severe storms and an EF-1 tornado begin to fix what’s fixable and give thanks they still have what can’t be replaced.
On Thursday, the National Weather Service confirmed much of the damage in Warren County from the powerful storm system came from an EF-1, which can reach max winds speeds of 105 mph. Its 4.75-mile path through the community began at U.S. 61 South at Glass Road, swept east to Oak Park subdivision and trailed off around Mississippi 27. Pea-sized hail pelted the area as if to supplement a furious symphony of 1.13 inches of rain with a pointed staccato. At least 16 structures were damaged during the storm, emergency officials said.
We pray for a speedy recovery for two men reported injured Wednesday when part of a storm-damaged tree fell on them while they worked on Evans Street, in Oak Park. When neighbors help neighbors after a natural disaster, society sees its real heroes.
Our neighbors to the north in Louisville, the seat of Winston County, weren’t quite so lucky. Ten of the state’s 14 deaths attributed to Monday’s tornado outbreak occurred in Winston County. Families there deserve all the prayers possible. One person each died in traffic accidents in Issaquena, Leak, Lee and Rankin counties. In the Issaquena wreck, Nicky Lee Painter, 56, of Greenville, died when his minivan hydroplaned off U.S. 61 North just north of the county line and hit a pickup truck.
By all accounts, emergency weather alerts that have moved into the 21st century locally via CodeRed and other instant-messaging systems came off without a hitch. Such mobile technology is like a warning siren that can be carried in your hip pocket.
There’s little excuse now for not being informed in the event of an emergency, and people seem to have heeded them and planned accordingly.
Thanksgiving usually means turkey and stuffing. After Monday’s storms, giving thanks simply means looking at your family, friends and neighbors and telling them how much they’re loved — once the day’s work is done, that is.

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