We are #ShowMeBetterTogether

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Itís been just over 10 years since a historic ice storm disrupted life across a wide swath of Southeast Missouri and northeast Arkansas.

It left some area residents without power for up to a month. Displaced residents couldnít find a hotel room, because they were all booked within hours of the storm that brought so much destruction.

Even gas was hard to come by, because so many stations were unable to operate.

Those of us who lived it have probably told the stories more than once to people who didnít experience it. Itís hard for them to believe the scope of the damage that occurred.

But the long power outages were a rarity. The fully booked hotels lasted a handful of days. Many gas stations were quickly back online as an emergency plan was mobilized and put into action.

All of this is to say, in a decade weíll tell the same stories about how stores around the country ran out of toilet paper and get the same disbelief from those who didnít live it.

One day, distance will allow us to look back on this state of emergency and realize there was no need to panic.

It is a time to act responsibly.

It is a time to follow the directions our officials have given us for safety.

People may laugh at the emphasis that has been placed on hand washing, but it is critical.

Social distancing is critical.

Staying home if you are unwell is critical.

Itís critical not just for you, but for your loved ones and those who could be hard hit by COVID-19, our older residents and those with underlying health conditions.

The difference today is that the coronavirus is impacting not just Southeast Missouri and northeast Arkansas but the entire country and world to varying degrees.

We can learn from those who saw it arrive before us.

We can take this unprecedented moment in history seriously and minimize how long it alters our lives by taking the right steps now.

What marked the 2009 ice storm more than the historic damage was how we responded.

Our communities came together to put emergency plans in place. We came together to help each other, our neighbors and strangers in need.

Thatís happening today too, because thatís who we are.

School districts have announced food programs for children as classes remain out. Neighbors are checking on each other.

This is a scary time for all of us, but we can and will come together to beat this, because thatís who we are.

We at the Daily American Republic are committed to keeping you informed and asking our officials the questions you need answers to.

If you have a question or a concern, reach out to us at dfarley@darnews.com or 573-785-1414 and weíll find the answers. If you see someone in your community going above and beyond, let us know and weíll share that with our region as an example of #ShowMeBetterTogether.

ó Daily American Republic

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