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Helping hands

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The weather has been the talk of the district this past week, given last Tuesday’s ferocious storms followed by several days of stifling heat. Open to debate, of course, is whether this is just another example of Mother Nature’s cyclical fickleness, or the first signs of long-term climate change due to global warming.

Surely, even the most long-time district residents would be hard-pressed to remember when three storms of such fierce nature (spawning tornadoes, high winds, and torrential downpours) occurred on the same day.

The aftermath of the storms also brought a vivid reminder of just how vulnerable we are to nature’s wrath, and how easily whole communities in our district--many connected to the rest of civilization by just one road--can be cut off when that lone link is washed out or blocked by downed trees.

(And that’s not to mention the travellers and truck traffic stranded around the region when even the major highways are closed).

It’s spawned, too, some questions about whether people really know what to do in the event of a weather emergency, or if our district is adequately prepared for severe weather. The answer in the latter case is a resounding “no,” as two-thirds of respondents indicated in our Web poll over the last week.

One other lesson gleaned, though, is that despite all the destruction and inconvenience, residents sprang into action Wednesday to lend their friends and neighbours a hand, or to help clean up the debris in their respective communities.

In places like Morson, Northwest Bay, and even Caliper Lake Provincial Park, literally cut off from the world for several days, people banded together to help everyone get through the crisis. And in Devlin, those who suffered the most extensive damage were clearly overwhelmed by the support of those eager to pitch in for the cleanup.

It is a legacy our district can--and should--be very proud of.

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