First to come; last to leave

Published 9:40 am Thursday, April 21, 2011

We’ve been down this road before.

Unless the Earth stops revolving, we’ll unfortunately travel this road again in the future.

The Roanoke-Chowan area is not immune to wrath of Mother Nature. We’ve been victimized time and time again … more recently, the March, 1984 tornado; Hurricane Floyd in 1999; Hurricane Isabel in 2003; the Mother’s Day tornado of 2008 and last October’s massive flooding event from the remnants of a tropical storm.

And now, here we are again on the heels of Saturday’s deadly tornados that sliced through the heart of Bertie County as well as causing damage and injuries in the southeastern corner of Hertford County.

We’ve lost eleven members of our extended Roanoke-Chowan area family. Collectively, we are grieving with the surviving immediate family members of those victims.

Meanwhile, help – from both the public and private sector – from outside the area is steadily arriving every day to aid in the comfort and recovery efforts. We greatly appreciate the service they are providing to our citizens in their time of need.

Soon, state and federal financial assistance will arrive. Those funds will go a long way in helping those who lost everything in the blink of an eye on Saturday evening pick up the pieces and start over.

But the greatest ally we have in the long-term recovery process from this bad hand dealt by Mother Nature are the warm and caring people of the R-C area. As evident by the aftermath of the handful of storms mentioned above, we care about our neighbors; we are there for total strangers if the need arises.

Long after the news outlets leave the area for the next big story; weeks following the departure of private entities here to offer help; and months after the governmental assistance begins to wane, all we’ll have left is each other …. the same hearty souls that were here from the start. That’s pretty good company to keep.

– Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald