Tornado brings grief and hard-won knowledge
May 21, 2013 11:50 PM | 773 views | 4 4 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
By lunchtime Monday, storm spotters knew something terrible could happen.

Heartache would be in this storm’s path. There would be no way around it.

The depth of grief and the breadth of destruction would be determined later, for agonizing days and weeks later. Make no mistake, those in the risk areas were told, a major, devastating event was on the horizon.

Souls and treasures would be lost. And, yes, 24 people — including nine children — died when a twister struck the Oklahoma City suburb of Moore.

But even as we grieve, from near and far, for those we loved and those we never met, we know that advances in weather forecasting still saved lives Monday. Earlier, ravaging storms taught us how to better predict the twists and turns of Mother Nature and how to somewhat anticipate her seemingly indiscriminate terror.

Even a few minutes’ warning saved lives.

Technological advances allowed a country to witness a storm as it erased neighborhoods and lifted heavy objects beyond Earth’s grasp. From a television station’s helicopter windows, we watched a tornado two miles wide scoop up lifetimes and eventually toss them 250 miles upwind. Moments later, we watched dazed and wounded survivors climb out of rubble and scattered vehicles, defying logic. How could anyone have survived that?

Inhabitants of this country’s storm-weary areas (which include the hurricane-prone Southeastern Coastline) live in a paradox. Increasingly populous towns such as Moore — with roughly 55,000 people, almost 15,000 more than after a deadly 1999 tornado — and booming metropolises such as Oklahoma City place more individuals in a storm’s path. In a country of more than 300 million, storms touch more lives. A century ago, 225 people called Moore home. A storm of this size would have been witnessed mainly by wildlife.

And yet, weather-battered regions produce the wealth of knowledge that prepares us for the next storm. You’d be hard-pressed to find a more discerning group of experts than those who have ridden out a storm across the Plains and chosen to make that their lives’ work. If storms like we saw Monday cannot be tamed, we at least can learn to understand them.

We may never, though, learn to accept the profound loss of life. Yet again, America mourns, especially for the youngsters taken by one of their biggest fears.

Meanwhile, churches and charities in Marietta and Cobb have been working to gather relief items to send west.

Even when we know the darkness is coming, we’re never quite ready for what the morning brings.
Comments
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sancho-panza
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May 22, 2013
I didn't see this story covered in the mdj. Nothing. For the past two days. Is that possible? Did that (no mention of the biggest story this week) really happen?
Papermill gal
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May 22, 2013
The NBC newsman Brian Williams donned his blue jeans and his northeastern elite attitude yesterday while interviewing country singer Toby Keith, who grew up in Moore, OK.

"Why do people live here?" Williams asked, in an incredibly superior and incredulous tone of voice.

Keith responded the best he could, and chose to ignore the condescension. I submit that the people who live in such places are just tough, optimistic people and the backbone of this nation. They don't whine, they get back to work. And liberals hate that, because they know those people are truly free and not dependent on any government or upon them (the agenda makers).
To Papermill Gal:
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May 22, 2013
I encourage you to watch the entire interview: http://www.nbcnews.com/video/nbc-news/51959071/#51966200

Completely unnecessary to make this tragedy political. Neither Brian Williams nor Toby Keith did.

But just because I can resist, be sure to read this. It's a perfect response to your crazy comments.

http://mobile.reuters.com/article/idUSBRE94K18Z20130521?irpc=932

just sayin
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May 22, 2013
I don't see that just because you are completely wiped off the map every few years by two hundred plus mph winds is any reason to do anything different. Just rebuild your town just like you did before and hope next time things will be different.
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