Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Sandy Storms Through West Virginia and the US

As the weekend drew to a close, Hurricane Sandy made its way throughout Appalachia and the northeastern United States, and as it did, it left behind damage, power outages, and more. Officials estimate that the hurricane has done over $20 billion in damage. Some have also said that there are over eight million people who are without power.

Here in West Virginia there are an estimated 200,000 people who do not have power. Some parts of the state have had accumulations of 2-3 feet of snow, and road and power line crews have been working long hours to get folks back on the grid, and make our roads drivable again.

But, in the middle of it all, hope shines through. People help each other. I've heard a few stories coming from different areas around our state that make me proud. People with power have been opening their homes to those without, and offering warmth along with hospitality. The challenge has just been transportation to get to these places. In Sissonville, WV, volunteers from the local community center drove around trying to help neighbors in need who were shut in, and needed warmth and food. The story was on a major news network, and as my wife recounted the story to me, she said that the volunteers who were driving around were without power, but rather than taking care of themselves, they were looking out for their neighbor.

Imagine what our world would be like if more folks followed that kind of example. Imagine if we started to look out for the needs of others and not just ourselves. I believe it would be a different world altogether. And, I believe that this mentality of serving others is not unique to West Virginia, but the fact that this among the places where we see it happen makes me incredibly proud.

I'm hopeful that more folks will be stepping up to help their neighbors as there are some tremendous needs throughout the swath of Hurricane Sandy.

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