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Thursday, Apr. 17, 2014

Disasters bring out the best in people

Posted Friday, June 13, 2008, at 5:14 PM

What is it about a disaster that brings out the best in people?

Greene County has witnessed an indescribable outpouring of the good in humanity this week in the midst of perhaps the most devastation that this county has ever experienced in history.

Volunteers by the hundreds have rushed to our communities from a lot of different places -- some outside the state of Indiana -- with open arms and willing to help any way they could.

Governmental, civic and business leaders from all parts of the county have offered donations, equipment and manpower to aid those affected by the current emergency disaster.

They've rolled up their sleeves and helped us stack sandbags on levees that were threatening to break from powerful floodwaters.

The volunteers have brought in food, water and offered us shelter.

Since last Tuesday -- June 3 -- Greene County has been pelted with two confirmed tornadoes and a major flood that reached crests that hadn't been recorded in more than 100 years.

The tornadoes in an around Bloomfield on June 3 and June 4 caused thousands of dollars in damages and destroyed at least one structure.

The town was still recuperating from another tornado that touched down in February.

To top it all off, the overabundance of water -- in the form of a flood -- caused a major water line to break in the town of Jasonville on Saturday, June 7, leaving 7,200 water utility customers without a drop of good drinking water from their facets.

Thousands of bottles of water have been brought in to the community by truck -- some of it donated to meet the essential water needs at and around-the-clock distribution center that has been manned for the most part by volunteer firefighters from all over Greene, Clay and Sullivan counties.

This week the tired and weary local firefighters got some relief help form a group of firefighters in Indianapolis.

The storms and floods that followed altered our lifestyles.

Sure many of us suffered financial loss.

Homes, businesses and personal property have been damaged and destroyed.

Thousands of acres of fertile farm ground -- much of it re-planted for the second time because of a very wet spring season -- is still covered with water, putting a serious bruise on our local agriculture economy. This year's corn crop is a wash and the yields on soybeans if it dries out enough to plant in the next few weeks will be diminished.

Many of us were inconvenienced.

The highways, roads and streets leading to and from out homes were flooded, washed out and made impassible by the raging waters that were fueled by an unimaginable weekend storm that dumped 10 inches of rain in some places in a very short period of time.

Some of us were even stranded on islands for a while because our transportation thoroughfares were shut off by floodwaters.

The waters of the West Fork of the White River as well as the Eel River and all the tributaries had swelled to levels which few if anybody around here had ever witnessed in their lifetime.

The Great Flood of 2008 will be something that we'll be talking about for a long time.

And generations from now, they'll still be referring to this "big" flood of 2008 in the same tone as the floods of 1875, 1913 and 1937.

There is still a lot of work to do in the clean up and recovery from this series of natural disasters. But from the outpouring of help that has already come into our county we know we're not in this battle alone.

We appreciate the help given and know it will continue.

Rest assured with all the good things that have happened in this county amidst the bad, that when and if disaster strikes any of our neighboring communities, counties and states, we will be ready, able and willing to help them like they have been helping us.

Greene County has proven in the past two weeks that it has a great resolve and a tenacious fortitude as one united community to go on even when bad things happen.

Nick is the assistant editor for the Greene County Daily World. He can be reached by telephone at 847-4487 or 1-800-947-4487 or by e-mail at nschneider@gcdailyworld.com or schneider.nick@gmail.com

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When I read about the meetings with mayors and FEMA employees in Morgan and Bartholomew counties, I am disheartened by the rancour and animosity. In contrast, the town meetings that have taken place in Jasonville and Worthington have demonstrated that the folks in our neck of the woods tend to be patient, resilient and self-reliant. The losses in Greene County have been substantial (and heartrending in some cases), yet there is no sense of entitlement displayed.

People are anxious to help and grateful when help is offered. This tragedy has displayed something very positive about the culture of our community.

-- Posted by allonecounty on Sat, Jun 14, 2008, at 11:38 AM

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