February 12, 2014

Thanks for keeping us safe and warm

Some of us are starting to get cabin fever. The inconvenience of being shut in for the past two days is the greatest hardship this latest winter storm has imposed.

But many others have little time to spend with their families and maybe haven’t had the chance to sleep in their own beds over the past few days. They’ve been out there trying to keep the rest of us safe and warm.

Let’s start with the people who work for local public works and roads departments and for the Georgia Department of Transportation who have been working around the clock in snow and freezing rain to keep roads cleared. It must be frustrating to clear a road then watch it freeze over again at night. But they have been out there even before the bad weather started battling the elements.

And let’s not forget the law enforcement officers, firefighters, emergency medical technicians and paramedics who brave those still slippery roads to aid us. Snow and ice on the ground doesn’t stop crime. It doesn’t stop people from suffering accidents or heart attacks or other medical emergencies. And those first responders have still been there when the call went out for them.

Speaking of being there for the vulnerable. The staff of our local hospitals and nursing homes and assisted living facilities have stepped up for the people they care for. Some of them have been sleeping at the places where they work — on cots or sofas or even on the floor — just in case the roads became iced over and they couldn’t get back to work.

We’ve had relatively few power outages. But statewide, more than 100,000 Georgians were without power Wednesday. Utility crews can’t wait for the snow and ice to end before getting to work. They were out there in the worst of it trying to get electricity restored, and they’ll probably be working around the clock for the next few days until all their customers get their power back on.

To these men and women, and to all the others who have been working in cold, wet, uncomfortable and sometimes dangerous conditions, we thank you.

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