Tragedy, survival and recovery

Tragedy, survival and recovery

May 10th, 2011 in Opinion Free Press

Michelle Campbell, a manager at the Ruby Tuesday restaurant in Ringgold, Ga., walks around the ruins of the restaurant. She and other workers and customers sheltered in the kitchen when the monster tornado slammed Ringgold on April 27. Staff photo by Jenna Walker/Chattanooga Times Free Press

The damage from storms and hundreds of tornadoes in Tennessee and throughout the South has been horrifying.

But while there have been many deaths, it is astounding that far more people were not killed by the natural disaster and by accidents resulting from downed electrical wires and trees.

You might have read, for instance, of the miraculous survival of all the roughly two dozen customers and employees in a nearby Ringgold, Ga., restaurant that was reduced to rubble by a tornado. No one was even badly injured!

And even as the ravages of nature were upon us, intrepid crews representing utilities and emergency agencies were doing the best they could to assure safety and provide relief. Untold numbers of volunteers from this area and elsewhere have pitched in since then to help those who are suffering.

Much damage remains to be repaired, much debris has yet to be removed, and it will take time for us to recover from our economic and human losses. But we have taken the first important steps on that difficult path, and we are grateful that the toll was not higher.