Hurricane Ivan

Published 12:00 am Monday, September 20, 2004

No one died in Butler County. That is the most important thing we can say today.

We were pleased to see so many people took the warnings seriously in advance of Hurricane Ivan and adhered to them all.

We faced Ivan's wrath and we survived.

Now comes the hardest part of it all, and that is having patience.

Please remember in the coming days that the electrical system was not built in a day and it will not be rebuilt in a day.

There are going to be Alabama Power and Pioneer Electrics customers without power for days and possibly weeks.

We're not going to sugarcoat this.

This was a bad event.

It knocked us down, but we, as Butler Countians, got back up Thursday afternoon on wobbly legs and found our footing.

As soon as the storm passed, neighbors began checking on neighbors, maybe some neighbors met for the first time, sharing the common theme of destruction.

We owe some kudos to many people today.

First, we say thank you to the police and emergency response teams in our cities and county.

Many continue to work Thursday morning as Hurricane Ivan raged.

Emergency calls were answered as quickly as possible.

The city's street department was out in force even before the eye moved through the area.

They were there setting up barriers on impassable streets.

We say thank you to the dedicated Alabama Power employees and Pioneer Electric Cooperative employees who went out as soon as it humanly possible and began restoring service.

Some of the shell shock was alleviated Friday morning when many found shopping centers and eateries back open.

You'd be surprised how much a good old hamburger does for the soul after a hurricane.

Then churches in the area got involved and food was prepared for those who needed it.

Ice was delivered and everyone tried to dig out from under the burdens that lay ahead.

That is what it means to be a community.

It is important for us to cheer each other on in the good times and help pick each other up in the bad times.

We are a community that learns from the past.

In the case of Ivan, anyone who needed to see we did learn from Hurricane Opal, simply had to drive down Commerce Street.

Windows were taped or boarded up; loose items were stowed away and we went into the storm with a sense of worry, but also that we were prepared.