How a storm can heighten appreciation

January 7, 2022

It’s remarkable how something like a swiftly moving snowstorm that brings daily routine to a standstill can bring extra attention to the most important elements of our existence. And with that attention also comes increased appreciation for those who work to keep ordinary systems functioning in extraordinary circumstances.

Such is the case with Monday’s storm, which brought moisture-laden air out of the Gulf of Mexico across the Southeast and up the coast where it met with a cold front coming down from the north. As predictable as July Fourth congestion, the resulting, almost blizzard-like conditions closed schools, businesses and government offices, and slowed highway transportation to stops and crawls, at best, on dangerously slippery, crash-causing surfaces.

Delaware Department of Transportation employees worked throughout the storm to keep roadways passable, most importantly for emergency response vehicles. They worked with law enforcement personnel, volunteers for local fire departments, and citizen volunteers to get healthcare workers to local hospitals where patient care can’t wait until such storms pass. 

Beebe and Bayhealth are already caring for beyond-capacity patient loads due to the surging coronavirus. They can’t afford to have a storm keeping nurses and doctors from their patients. 

Increasing congestion on local roads is already challenging for emergency response efforts, but nothing like the recent storm that slowed everything.

Electrical workers and increasingly important broadband infrastructure employees who keep our lights on and our communication systems functioning also have to get out in such storms to repair and maintain lines damaged by heavy snow and high winds. One downed tree can halt traffic for an hour on a back road or knock out electricity to hundreds of homes, or both.

This storm has passed, but others will come. The best most of us can do is prepare in advance for the next one so we don’t have to go out on the roads and get in the way of essential workers who have no choice but to carry on in the midst of such storms. Being prepared will make it easier for most of us to enjoy the beauty of a snowstorm rather than be burdened by its challenges. 

  • Editorials are considered and written by Cape Gazette Editorial Board members, including Publisher Chris Rausch, Editor Jen Ellingsworth, News Editor Nick Roth and reporters Ron MacArthur and Chris Flood. 

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