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Staff photo by Allison Collins / A tree came down on a power line in the East Brainerd area where digital and engagement editor Allison Collins lives with her husband and two dogs. EPB estimates power will be restored in seven days.

The Times Free Press news team started working from our homes the week of March 16. Last Friday, I made the mistake of telling a friend over the phone that the initial breaking news of COVID-19 three weeks in was starting to taper off. I felt like we reporters and editors were starting to figure out the whole working-from-home thing.

Then, Sunday night's storms happened and we woke up to our world turned upside down once again. For one day, the novel coronavirus pandemic wasn't the main topic of our morning news meeting, and we began reporting on the storm damage and those killed and injured while also dealing with the damage in and around our own homes.

We are being mindful of how many reporters we send out in the field during this time while first responders are doing their work. We are asking our colleagues to still practice safe social distancing in order to help flatten the curve. This is a note to you — our readers — to let you know that we are committed to telling the stories of our community responsibly and compassionately as we all figure this out.

Please reach out if you have story ideas, questions or concerns. Stay safe.

— Allison Collins, digital and engagement editor, acollins@timesfreepress.com

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