Every disaster brings out the best of human nature as thousands of family members, friends and total strangers pitch in to restore order and provide essential services.
Last week's powerful windstorm that swept across southern Missouri and several other states left blocked roads, smashed houses and thousands of powerless utility customers. Repair crews were dispatched within minutes, but getting equipment and manpower to where the worst outages occurred was a major problem.
Several lives were lost as the storm reached its full impact in the Midwest. Another life was lost this week during the cleanup effort as a large limb fell on a woman.
This area is now all too familiar with the impact of disasters. A major ice storm in 2008 and another, more severe ice storm this year gave hundreds of thousands of Southeast Missourians and residents of nearby states a taste of Nature's fury. Windstorms are part of the spring weather cycle, but they seem to be growing in intensity and in the damage they cause.
Thanks to all those who have worked countless hours to clear roads, make homes weathertight, provide aid and comfort to those in need and restore power and who, in so many other ways, have found ways to help.