Mother Nature forces rise in leaders

Published 12:00 am Sunday, June 26, 2011

Lest we, as the human species, ever forget our place in the universe, Mother Nature is quick to slap us down and remind us exactly how powerful the forces at play can be.

Lawrence County has gotten another painful reminder of that this spring and summer as weather continues to play havoc on the region.

On Thursday, the 911 center was hit by lightning and valuable communications equipment was damaged.

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This comes on the heels of several other storms in recent days and months that have done significant property damage to homes and businesses, left many without power for extended amounts of time, and done millions of dollars in damages to county bridges and roadways.

Neither the county nor the state has the funds to make all the repairs.

Add that to the devastation in cities like Joplin, Mo., and Tuscaloosa, Ala., and we are all brought back to reality with the sometimes stunning revelation that we are all mortal and are essentially just renting space on this big blue planet.

But sometimes a disaster can show us who our leaders are and who has the ability to rise to meet challenges.

911 director Lonnie Best certainly deserves credit for his role Thursday night to assess the damages, put repair plans into action and make sure that not a single call for help went without an answer.

Best worked to make sure that Gallia County 911 was covering for Lawrence County in the short-term and that the local system would be up and running as soon as possible.

County Engineer Doug Cade is another local leader that has shown his mettle as Mother Nature has thrown us curveballs.

Cade only took over the engineer post this spring but has shown his leadership and organizational skills as his office has worked to assess damages and make repairs quickly.

There are many others across Lawrence County who have shown courage and leadership in the face of adversity.

Mother Nature may have no man-made equal, but she helps make our men and women who we are today.

Michael Caldwell is publisher of The Tribune. To reach him, call (740) 532-1445 ext. 24 or by e-mail at