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As I took cover like most people on that fateful Friday when the devastating tornado ripped through Grant County, I couldn’t help but wonder about all the people I cared about. Were they alright? Did they have any damage done to their homes? I also couldn’t help but wonder if there was anything I could do to help. As a former volunteer firefighter with EMT training, I knew I could be of help. On Saturday, March 3 I went to the Crittenden Fire House to see what I could do. I was amazed and truly touched by what I saw and the longer I stayed the more people came from all over to help. People who had lost loved ones in the deadly tornado, had damage to their homes or people who had just heard about what was going on showed up. The piles of water that looked like a sea of blue or the amount of food that people had brought in for volunteers was overwhelming. The Crittenden Fire House had asked the Crittenden Christian Church to open their doors for clothing donations and how people brought clothes. Piles and piles of baby clothes, dress clothes, coats and shirts. It saddened me that people had lost their homes and had structural damage to their homes but there is something comforting about knowing the community will always be there when a major disaster hits. The amount of people that had come up to me and asked "what can we do?" was amazing.
It didn’t hit me personally how bad things were until I had to go to Florence and took U.S. 25. I was totally and utterly speechless and that doesn’t happen that often. A persons house that I had stopped at when they were having a yard sale, was gone with no trace left behind. I had never seen total destruction at the hands of Mother Nature like that before. My heart goes out to the families who lost loved ones and to the ones who had damage done to their homes. In the blink of an eye, you’re world can change. I can’t imagine how overwhelming it must be to try to find pieces of your home in the rubble and to say I understand would be an understatement but I know that your not alone. We, as a community, will always "step-up to the plate" to help our neighbors.
So to all of Grant County, this experience was truly humbling and I was truly touched at how our community came together in a time of crisis. I was truly honored to be a part of helping those in need. There is no other place I would rather be than in Grant County, knowing that in a time of need we all have the desire and the heart to catch each other when we stumble and when we fall.
Camille McClanahan is the editorial assistant at the Grant County News. She can be reached at 859-824-3343 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org