Unless you’ve been lost in a cave for the last week, it would have been impossible to miss what might be the costliest weather event in U.S. history.
Hurricane Sandy will be remembered for centuries as striking a blow on the eastern seaboard of the U.S. that will take months, if not years, from which to recover.
We know what they are up against. Folks here in North Carolina have been picking up the pieces of their lives over the last 20 years as one massive storm after another plowed through.
There was Bertha, Fran, Floyd and Isabel, and countless snow and ice storms, and floods. Each leaving in its wake a massive trail of destruction.
In these mountains, we have seen communities right here in Ashe County literally wiped off the map by terrible flooding events.
Thankfully we came out the other side of Sandy relatively unscathed.
There were scattered power outages and one utility worker was injured during restoration efforts.
And while no amount of preparation can prepare a utility grid to escape damage from a storm the size and ferocity of Sandy, our local grid remained powerized and connected because of the outstanding efforts of the Blue Ridge Electric Membership Corp. and Skyline/Skybest.
Their year-round efforts at keeping their lines clear of avoidable hazards paid off when those few hundred homes that were without power or an outside connection to the world only had to wait at few hours for reconnection.
For them preparation is the key, and we all know that is especially difficult in these rugged and unforgiving mountains.
We offer those two companies a big high five for their efforts at making what could have been a serious, and perhaps life-threatening, situation into a minor inconvenience for those homes affected.
We also want to recognize the preparation efforts of our local emergency first responders, both paid and volunteer. We know you were ready to turnout and make a difference if needed.
It has been our experience that a community is defined by how it responds when the going gets tough. Ashe County has seen its share of destructive weather over the last 200 years and learned a great deal about how to cope.
As expected, the good folks here displayed the resilience and quiet strength required to weather this storm.
While we can thank the powers that be for our good fortune during this storm, we must not forget there are million of our fellow citizens up north who will be cleaning up the aftermath for years.
Keeping them in your prayers and maybe even giving a few dollars to the Red Cross will help them, and our country, get back on its feet.