The Washington Times-Herald

January 11, 2014

Those winter blues?


The Washington Times-Herald

---- — I am starting to feel a little fatigued.

Normally after a healthy dose of green vegetables and a little club soda, I’m back to feeling better. But I believe this case of the winter blues is just outside my locus of control.

When I think about the last few months, I’m beginning to wonder if we, in Daviess County, are still in the good grace of the Lord.

Starting in November we had a tornado rip through the West End. Thankfully, there were no fatalities and very few injuries sustained by that devastating twister. Often after a big storm I will go out and begin quickly taking pictures. There are normally a few trees down or maybe some damage to a roof or two, but nothing prepared me for what I found as I got closer to Oak Street. Lives were truly torn apart as houses and business were blown from foundations like the Big Bad Wolf had been prowling down Sycamore Street.

However, within days neighbors were helping neighbors. City and county officials, and volunteers poured into the area and lives were being put back together.

Next up was the early December ice storm and blizzard. Again, Daviess County was punched squarely in the mouth by Mother Nature with about a foot of snow. The already tired crews who had just come off tornado clean-up duty were forced to deal with the worst December snowfall in decades.

At the very same time there was a tragic murder that took the life of one teenager and destroyed the lives of several others. These are the painful reminders that drugs, guns and ignorance are a constant threats, regardless of how well we think we are isolated from them.

As that snow melted and the temperature rose, it began to rain. And it rained and it rained and it rained. However, this time it was the Eastside that took the brunt of the abuse, as basements were flooded, roads became rivers and even the Christmas lights at Eastside Park became an underwater wonder.

Sadly, the flooding had serious consequences, as yet another person lost their life attempting to drive through an area notorious for tragedy. If ever there was a time for a soapbox and a solution it is now. Our social media sites have been filled with suggestions, solutions and in some cases sarcasm on what to do about this problem on SR 257. Hopefully, this death will be the catalyst for change.

So as the old (paraphrased) saying goes, “When 2013 goes out like a lion, 2014 should come in like a lamb.” Well, they were wrong.

In 2014, we learned a new phrase, Polar Vortex. I think we were heavy on the polar and light on the vortex. Truthfully, it was just two and a half days of Arctic blast, but it was a reality check on just how truly cold it can get. Ultimately, we dodged the blizzard bullet and again, those who were responsible for cleaning up, showed professionalism and commitment. I thought people again acted responsibly and we had no serious incidents. Local merchants were well prepared, and there were no signs of price gouging, and generally things were kept positive.

I do think people are taking warnings and weather advice more seriously. Tornado warnings and coverage saved lives when the nightmare scenario unfolded. I believe people have done a better job of staying off the roads when the extreme weather has hit, and folks seemed less panic-stricken as far as stocking up on supplies.

You know, the more I think about it, we have been hit from about every direction, knocked down and dragged around. But we have gotten back up, and we are now ready for the next round.

I take back what I said earlier in the column. We are, no doubt, still squarely in the favor of the Lord. Sometimes you just need a little reminder of how powerful he is.