It's amazing: the many blessings revealed by difficult times and disasters.
This event — one that undoubtedly will be remembered as the Great Flood of 2019 — will be no different. Perhaps the most astounding will be the fact there appears to have been no flood-related fatalities reported in the immediate area.
The National Weather Service reports that floods — flash flooding and river flooding — claimed more lives during each of the past three four or years than any other weather-related event in the United States. Considering the Arkansas River flood that crested 1.8 feet below the all time record set 73 years ago at Muskogee appears to have claimed none is, indeed, a blessing.
This fact also reflects smart choices made by area residents who heeded warnings of emergency managers, first responders and community. These first responders recognized the magnitude of the situation and acted quickly to disseminate information to residents, who made difficult decisions that kept them safe even as many of them left behind their homes and livelihoods.
The temptation to remain at home to protect personal items that have been collected throughout the years is powerful and oftentimes overcomes common sense. The same is true for motorists who approach barricades blocking their access to a destination because a road has been overcome by water.
Area residents resisted those temptations and heeded the warnings and advice of those we support with tax dollars to put our safety first. That freed them up to address of other important public health and safety issues as they responded to this flood, which will be a disaster for hundreds — if not thousands — of our friends and neighbors.
While challenges remain, we count as a blessing the fact that recovering from this flood will be clouded only by the loss of those things that are more easily replaced than the people we know and love. For that, we should all be thankful.