Everyone must help to overcome disasters

Published 12:00 am Friday, September 17, 2004

Tribune editorial board

Nature's incredible power was on display this week as Hurricane Ivan ripped a path through the Gulf Coast shores of Alabama and Florida.

Powerful, damaging winds, torrential rains and a massive storm surge turned lives and livelihoods upside down.

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The images from the area's hardest hit show a level of destruction that can be difficult to fathom.

Massive concrete two-lane bridges were shoved apart as if made from a child's toy blocks.

Houses were toppled and then washed into the Gulf. Hungry waves nibbled away at highways along the beachfront, making some impassable.

The personal damage left in Ivan's wake is immeasurable.

Suddenly, for thousands of storm victims the struggles of their normal, modern lives have been blown away.

Hundreds of thousands of residents were without power on Thursday in the wake of the storm.

Crews were just beginning to assess the damage as officials determined that at least 22 people have been killed by the storm in the United States.

Full recovery from the storm will take months, if not years. Early estimates placed the costs in terms of material things between $3 and $10 billion.

The cost in terms of humanity is impossible to estimate.

Ivan's remnants are heading into our region today.

As area residents experience the heavy rains forecasters predict, we hope residents who are able to do so will seek to aid the victims to our south.

We expect the residents of Florida and Alabama will need all sorts of goods and supplies that we often take for granted. Area church groups and civics groups will likely pool resources and offer assistance. We are lucky that we do not face such powerful monsters of nature.

Perhaps together we can lessen their suffering with our thoughts, our prayers and our help.