Icy fury will not quickly melt from memories

Published 12:00 am Thursday, February 20, 2003

Tribune Staff

Mother Nature never ceases to amaze -- and infuriate. She has certainly left her wrath on Lawrence County in the last week.

On Wednesday, days after a winter storm exploded onto portions of the county, some residents are still living without electricity and others find familiar routes impassable due to ice and fallen trees.

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"It looks like a war zone," said one resident who lives near Kitts Hill. "You could hear trees cracking throughout the night."

The thought of a war zone may be difficult for some county residents to believe as southern areas managed to dodge all but a few flakes and all but a few bits of ice.

For some county residents -- especially those living in the Ironton city limits or in other communities along the river -- it may be difficult to comprehend the icy fury unleashed on their friends and co-workers who live in more northern portions of the county.

The devastation, both to property and to life's comforts, is apparent. Classes at Rock Hill Schools were closed again today, the fourth-straight day.

Despite non-stop work by utility workers, who rarely receive the credit they deserve for working through such difficult conditions, thousands still remain without electrical power.

Amazingly, somehow, either through an oversight or through pure inattention on the part of state emergency personnel, Lawrence County was spared much attention following the storm's passage. Perhaps they drove by on U.S. 52 and simply did not realize the destruction just to the north.

On Wednesday, days after similar declarations had been made in surrounding counties, Lawrence County's damaged areas were finally declared a state disaster area, freeing up some state aid for the clean-up.

Perhaps local leaders need to develop better communication lines with state emergency offices to evoke quicker action in such disaster situations.

One thing is certain, Mother Nature's wrath last weekend will be remembered for years.