published Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011

Chattanooga’s big storm!

Chattanoogans will spend a long time telling “horror stories” of danger and destruction from the storm on Monday — and some people may still be without electricity today. Some may not get renewed electric service until later this week.

But many are giving thanks that, according to initial reports, deaths and serious injuries in this area were far fewer than they might have been. Tragically, one Polk County man died when a tree struck his home.

Meanwhile, some houses were flattened, and several cars were crushed by falling trees. Power was interrupted to as many as 37,000 homes. There is a terrible mess left to be cleaned up, and there is much damage to be overcome.

Unpredictable springlike weather, if not spring itself yet, has clearly not come in “like a lamb”!

There is no immediate way even to realistically estimate the property damage, not to mention the disruptions and inconveniences of many kinds to countless people.

The storm reminded us forcefully of the terrible power of nature, and the powerlessness of humans in the face of it.

We appreciate our police officers, firefighters, electric service workers and many other people who have lent helping hands, officially or personally, to serve us all.

This is certainly a time for volunteers to extend aid to many in need and for our fine local governments and admirable emergency and social welfare agencies to continue to alleviate both personal and public distress.

Much better weather is expected this week, but we are wary because of predictions that more storms of some degree may be coming Saturday.

It’ll take a long time for some people to recover from the damage, for downed trees to be removed, for smashed homes and cars to be cleared or repaired, and for the high costs of the destruction to be paid.

It is during and after alarming occurrences such as Monday’s storm that we are reminded afresh of the power of nature in its amazing manifestations.

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