Our thoughts Get­ting ready for Hur­ri­cane Irma

The Covington News - - OPINION - Our Thoughts is the view of The Cov­ing­ton News’ ed­i­to­rial board, which in­cludes Edi­tor and Pub­lisher David Cle­mons and News Edi­tor Jackie Gutknecht.

New­ton County is a lot of great things, but “trop­i­cal” is not one of them.

Still, we may have to pre­pare for a trop­i­cal storm as the rem­nants of Hur­ri­cane Irma — a mon­ster storm churn­ing in the At­lantic at week’s end — take aim at north Ge­or­gia.

The fore­cast track as of Fri­day af­ter­noon showed the storm head­ing to­ward south Florida, then track­ing into Ge­or­gia. If that holds, ex­pect tor­ren­tial rains and heavy winds like we rarely see in these parts.

Pub­lic safety of­fi­cials in Cov­ing­ton and New­ton County are to be com­mended for tak­ing a proac­tive ap­proach to Irma. They met Fri­day morn­ing to map out a game plan for the pos­si­ble flood­ing and wind dam­age we might see.

But, there’s only so much they can do. It’s in­cum­bent on cit­i­zens to pre­pare for the storm too. Make sure you have non­per­ish­able food, ad­e­quate sources of wa­ter and items like can­dles and bat­ter­ies.

Let’s also re­solve to pack an ex­tra mea­sure of pa­tience. Store shelves be­gan emp­ty­ing of wa­ter on Thurs­day while lines at gas sta­tions started to back up as peo­ple prepared. We’re all just trying to get through this to­gether; short fuses won’t help any­thing.

Adding to the stress is the in­flux of evac­uees from Florida and Coastal Ge­or­gia. New­ton County will be home to many new res­i­dents for at least a few days and maybe a lot longer. They’ll need sup­plies, love and sup­port as they ad­just to a new re­al­ity back home in the wake of what­ever Irma has wrought.

It’s hard to imag­ine the trauma of know­ing a mon­ster storm is tak­ing aim at home and ev­ery­thing they know. When you see peo­ple out in our com­mu­nity who are evac­uees, make sure to show you care, even if it’s just through a hand­shake, hug or word of sup­port.

And speak­ing of sup­port, don’t for­get the vic­tims of Hur­ri­cane Har­vey. It was just a cou­ple of weeks ago we watched it wreak havoc on the Texas Gulf Coast with unimag­in­able flood­ing in the Hous­ton area. Already we’ve seen peo­ple here pour out their sup­port by adopt­ing a class­room, pro­vid­ing “flood buck­ets” through First United Methodist Church in Cov­ing­ton and do­nat­ing cash and goods to other char­i­ties.

The need related to Har­vey isn’t go­ing away any­time soon, and in Irma’s wake there will be even more need — per­haps even right here at home. Get­ting through this is go­ing to take sac­ri­fice from all of us, but we’ll make it work.

Mother Na­ture is strong, but we’re pretty strong too.

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