Communities come together: Recalling the ice storm

Thursday, February 2, 2012
Massive amounts of ice splintered several trees around Piggott during the 2009 ice storm, bringing down countless limbs.

It's not exactly a memory most folks around here look back on fondly, but the ice storm of 2009, which hit this area on Jan. 27 three years ago, did help us to discover much about ourselves and our neighbors -- that we are tougher than we might have thought, more tenacious, able to endure adversity -- and that there are many many kind and selfless people out there willing to sacrifice for others -- for us, and for those we care about.

Through the long cold dark days and nights, there were bright rays of sunshine, love and hope in the actions of many in our communities. Actually, there was hardly anyone who didn't get involved in some way in helping to look after and care for those around them. That's just the way people around here are -- full of goodness, genuine, caring. It's what most of us love most about living in eastern Clay County.

With the warm temperatures and abundant sunshine of the last few weeks (and a forecast for more unseasonably warm temperatures in the days ahead), it is hard to imagine the crushing blow, the destruction, that Mother Nature dealt us on that day in the waning month of January 2009. Many of us would admit we have become somewhat wary now as winter approaches each year, wondering, "Will it happen again? Would we fare as well as we did the last time?"

Heavy ice brought down utility lines and poles along Highway 49 in Rector in 2009

Looking back at the stories which filled our papers that week, we see information on generator safety, food and water tips, carbon monoxide, items needed during winter outages, avoiding injury during recovery, and more.

We all hope we never again face this particular test. But should another ice storm -- or, heaven forbid, something worse -- strike again, the people of this area would no doubt step up again. We 've seen it over and over, whether it be in response to the needs of individuals, families or communities facing trials and adversity. The good people of Clay County pull together and meet the challenges and come out even stronger in the end.

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