June 13, 2013 in Publisher's Corner
Americans are still responding to the catastrophic mile-wide EF-5 tornado which swept through Moore, Okla. killing at least 24 May 20, including seven schoolchildren. That’s in addition to the 400 wounded and damage caused by simultaneous tornadoes in the state.
This tragedy comes closely on the heels of the Boston marathon bombings. Both test the American sense of life. Both events were met with heroic aplomb. If we are being tested as a nation, it is good that both the common man and American government intrinsically respond to crisis with bravery, compassion and dedication. Contrary to more cynical opinion, perhaps we deserve our blessings.
The initial wind devastation was not the only effect.
“We’ve seen widespread flooding throughout the entire 621 square miles,” Oklahoma city spokeswoman Kristy Yager said.
“I don’t think we’ve ever had a mission like this one,” said Incident Commander Lt. Col. Dave Roberts of Oklahoma’s Civil Air Patrol.
The CAP formed a door-to-door ground team assisting the Federal Emergency Management Agency, photographing around 12,000 residential sites damaged by the Oklahoma tornadoes.
“We’ve had boots on the ground and have been right in the middle of it from day one,” said Roberts.
The event was foreseen.
“On May 15th, five days before Monday’s destructive tornadoes, the National Weather Service’s Storm Prediction Center, based in Oklahoma, forecasted a threat of a major severe weather outbreak in the area and communicated this forecast to state and local officials, the media, and the general public,” said White House Principal Deputy Press Secretary Josh Earnest.
The event’s full impact was realized only later.
According to Dun & Bradstreet, Inc., hundreds of homes, hospitals, schools and business were destroyed by the tornadoes. Also impacted by the disaster were 6,133 more business. They report 2,985 companies were already experiencing financial hardship prior to the devastation. About half of those business were located in Moore, Okla., which was hardest hit. They predict that city alone will suffer $1.4 billion in losses.
We will mourn and bury our dead, tend to the wounded, rebuild and prosper.
Americans are only occasionally reminded to remain vigilant and adherent to our primary virtues of life, liberty and the pursuit of property. We are so very lucky to be treated with kid gloves by the Universe in the normal course of events. We’re so fortunate to be spared the desolation to which the rest of the human family is usually treated. And we have each other upon which to rely.
“I could be sad about it, but it’s not going to make anything come back. It’s just a house. It’s just stuff. We have each other,” Moore resident Jessie Childs told The Associated Press.
Our blessings shall always outstrip our hardship.
Several organizations, in addition to the U.S. government, have set up relief efforts to support those affected by the tornadoes in Oklahoma. You can also list yourself as “safe and well” in the Red Cross’ victim tracking system, or search for others.