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Tragedy can sometimes have a positive side

Nothing seems to bring people closer together than going through tough times together. (Just ask older folks who lived through the Great Depression or World War II.) People in southern Lewis County are living through a tough time now. Flash flooding there destroyed 12 homes and did major damage to 24 early Friday morning. It also damaged stores, the Ireland Community Building and the Walkersville Volunteer Fire Department.

But amid the floodwaters and the mess it left behind, residents of southern Lewis County are helping one another. "People in the community really pulled together to help each other," Sandy King, who lives between Walkersville and Ireland, told Exponent Telegram reporter Shawn Gainer. "The fire department was great. They made sure everybody was safe before they dealt with their own damage."

The American Red Cross is helping out, too. Since the flooding, the Red Cross has set up an emergency shelter at Stonewall Jackson Lake State Park, opened a service center at the Walkersville VFD and sent emergency service vehicles providing meals house to house. Red Cross volunteers will be offering assistance in the area for up to two weeks. Volunteers with The Salvation Army are providing flood relief too. We're certain also that southern Lewis County has seen many acts of kindness, done by neighbors for neighbors, in the last few days.

The efforts of agencies like the Red Cross get headlines. So do visits by elected officials like the governor, who is to tour flooded areas of Lewis County today. And that's OK. Media coverage of what they're doing spreads the word about what help is available.

But we think the simple, unreported acts of kindness deserve special mention. Because nowadays, neighbor helping neighbor is something special.

TIm Langer

Telegram Editorial Board member

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