County prepared for emergencies

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Although Shelby County did not suffer any serious damage from Hurricane Ivan, there are people in the state who still do not have running water.

There are others who are saying goodbye to family members who perished in the storm’s wake, and others who are struggling to pick up the pieces of damaged property scattered in the winds and rain.

Although Shelby County only sustained downed tree limbs and damaged power lines from the storm, we learned valuable lessons that will help gauge the county’s emergency preparedness for future tragedies.

The lesson is: Shelby County is pretty well-prepared for whatever Mother Nature decides to throw our way.

By Friday afternoon, almost all streets in the county were cleared of limbs and debris.

In Columbiana, where wind gusts reached 50-60 miles per hour and as much as six inches of rain fell, it was hard to tell there had even been a storm by Friday afternoon.

County road and utility crews worked long hours to clean up the damage left by the storm.

Others, such as the Red Cross and the Emergency Management Agency, combined resources to ensure that evacuees were taken care of.

Several hundred people found emergency shelter and food during the storm. The county was there to meet their needs. That’s comforting considering the two new hurricanes brewing in the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean