The Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC

July 2, 2012

Neighbors help one another after Sunday’s storms


TARBORO — Despite the fact a number of Edgecombe County residents had their lives turned upside down during Sunday afternoon’s storm, the weather brought out the best in many.

Across the county, neighbors helped neighbors pick up the pieces. Where there was no damage, they checked to make sure their neighbors were safe and secure.

Out along Temperance Hall Road, where the damage seemed to be most severe in Edgecombe County, folks were helping one another pick up limbs and pieces of shingle and set blown over picnic tables upright once again.

There were neighbors with chain saws helping clear downed trees and limbs and there were neighbors with tractors with front end loaders lifting and pushing and others with chains, tying on and pulling trees off the highway.

For a number who were out and working to help others, it was their job responsibility. That, though, doesn’t overshadow the fact they were working among downed trees and limbs that could snap and fall or fly back and they were working in the dark of night with limited lighting.

There were power crews and phone company trucks and emergency responders because, regardless of the weather, when someone is ill, they still want those EMS crews to roll and arrive in short fashion.

We saw all of that Sunday afternoon and evening.

That there were no injuries is a gift from God.

Our neighboring counties, however, were not so lucky. In Pitt County, there was one fatality when a barn collapsed on a map and in Beaufort County, there were two fatalities when a tree fell on a golf cart. In all, there were 40 storm-related injuries in Beaufort.

That there were no traffic-related injuries is more than a gift, it is truly a miracle as people drove as if they were the only ones on the road.

Seldom was courtesy practiced and more times than not, it seemed as if those driving vehicles the fastest or those driving the largest vehicles, felt they were owed the right of way.

While we all hope for a remainder of the year sans damaging weather, we all know that possibility exists, so let’s turn Sunday into a learning experience and get a Plan B in place — understanding that Plan A is the rare occasion when everything works as it should.

Make a list of the things you didn’t have and get them, and take the time to jot down what you would do ... just in case.