New respect for nature
Last week’s devastating storm wi l l be remembered in this province for many years to come, and not just because of the unprecedented winds and rain and subsequent damage. As is custom in this province, it will also be remembered for the many ways in which neighbours and friends came together in a time of need to help and support and reassure one another.
The media has been reporting numerous cases of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians showing their compassion and kindness for those affected by Hurricane Igor. Dave Denine, the province’s minister responsible for the volunteer and non-profit sector, said it best on Friday.
“ In the face of the destruction, people are volunteering to help their neighbours and communities get through this difficult time and in many cases, non-profit organizations have been offering their facilities as shelter to those in need,” Denine stated in a news release.
“ No matter what issue people are presented with, they go above and beyond to help ensure others are safe and comfortable. Whether it is helping the community clean up or bringing a neighbour s om e food , Newfoundland e r s and Labradorians are a lwa y s there to lend a helping hand and show their cooperative spirit.”
Sure, there were some complaints from those who felt the response was slow and that m o re could have been done to help those cut off by the storm and left without power and adequate supplies of f o o d , wa t e r and other necessities.
But we have to remember that Hurricane Igor stretched this province’s ability to respond to such a disaster to the very limit. Patience is sometimes hard to come by during a crisis, but it appears that most people understood the widespread destruction delivered by the stormwas of a level not beforewitnessed in modern time.
For those of us living in the Conception Bay North and Trinity South regions, we were left counting our blessings last week that the damage wasn’t worse. Sure, therewere flooded basements, power outages, roads were damaged and treeswere toppled, but we couldn’t help but listen and watch in astonishment and amazement to the havoc being felt on the Burin and Bonavista peninsulas.
Many commented on the force of the storm, and how their respect for nature’s power had been reinforced. There is little doubt that when nature unleashes its full fury, there’s not much that mankind can do but hope for the best.
There was no loss of life in this region, and no reports of injuries. When you consider the fierceness of the storm, that’s reason enough to give thanks.
As news gatherers, we found ourselves out in the face of the storm, clicking our cameras as vehicles forced their way through water-covered roads, as ditches swelled with dirty brown water and started eating away at the shoulders of roads, as tree buckled and broke under the strain, and as worried citizens battened down the hatches in an attempt to ride out the worst of it.
We also watched as municipal employees and many volunteers, including firefighters, left their own properties behind in order to help others. It was a heart-warming and inspiring site. To them, we offer thanks.
With the storm now in the past, we must focus on rebuilding and ensuring that the promises made by the province and Ottawa to help those affected by the storm are kept.
So long, and good riddance, Igor.