CATEGORY: EDT Editorials

AUTHOR: JOER

Violent weather in every season plagues Mississippi.

The changing seasons inevitably bring an increased threat of our state's most-feared natural enemy tornadoes. The twisting storms, almost always brought down on us by weather systems spawned in the Southwest and fed by the Gulf of Mexico's warmth and moisture, hit with a vengeance early Saturday morning.

Pontotoc and Union counties were hardest hit in Northeast Mississippi. One persons was killed; many were injured. Damage to houses and many other buildings was widespread and extensive. The trauma lingers for everyone touched by the weekend of wind and heavy rain.

Northeast Mississippians, having lived from the beginning of memory with tornadoes' pain, responded quickly to neighbors' needs. Relief and assistance from friends, relatives and concerned people with no direct connections to those harmed by the storms began pouring in by sunrise Saturday. The aid continues and is needed by those whose lives have been permanently marked by the tornadoes' paths.

The American Red Cross, P.O. Box 966, Tupelo, 38802, accepts contributions designated for the Northeast Mississippi disaster victims. Service centers to receive donated goods like food, clothing and household furnishings have been organized at Fredonia Baptist Church, 1616 County Rd. 86, New Albany, and at the Randolph Volunteer Fire Department, 240 Topsy Rd., Randolph. Both service centers are affiliated with the Red Cross, a non-profit organization providing services without charge to all in need after disasters strike. It depends on private generosity to provide its wide-ranging services for victims.

Most Northeast Mississippians understand the importance of standing arm-in-arm after last weekend's pain and misery. Many storms through the decades have claimed lives, destroyed families' histories with a mighty gust, and forever altered the way people remember specific days and weeks. Understanding the need for generous and genuine assistance won't stop storms; even advanced technology can only provide relative moments of warning, if any.

However, unity in adversity makes obvious the moral strength motivating the compassion most Northeast Mississippians hold for one another. It is a priceless resource in a costly time.

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