Monday morning a terrific storm passed through the southern portions of our community. From commercial buildings to individual residences, the damage could be seen everywhere. Last night when I returned from being out of town, I walked throughout the area that was damaged and had the opportunity to observe several things.
First, throughout the day and evening, the city staff kept updating me as to what was going on and where. From the police department directing traffic and the firemen handling the fire in one residence, to the people in public works department doing just about anything else, I must congratulate all of you for your service and professionalism. Being mayor of Dyersville is pretty easy when you have people like this that go on autopilot when a major event hits our community.
The second thing that stood out to me was the determination of the people living there and the necessity to restore their homes to pre-storm conditions as much as possible, even in the same day. Century-old trees were no more, landing on many homes as they fell. Many were removed by the end of the day. Yards were being raked and mowed. Branches and debris everywhere were being loaded on just about any kind of truck or trailer you could imagine. Members of the news media were looking for that one story to fill their evening news slot.
Watching the different media sources that night as well as Tuesday morning, I feel some of them missed the real story. Yes, we did have a terrible storm that did do a terrific amount of damage. Yes, we had trees that affected just about everyone’s houses in that area. We had roofs damaged and trees down, as well as patio furniture and grills flying in the wind from yard to yard.
The thing that stood out most to me, going from street to street, were the many neighbors helping their fellow neighbors. Everywhere you looked, you saw people helping each other. I watched one group finish cleaning up the larger portions of the damage on their street and then, after working all day there, walk over to the next street to help their neighbors on that street.
One comment made to me was that “I have lived here for quite awhile and really didn’t get to know my neighbors until today.” Another thing that should be noted is the fact that many families and friends who don’t live in this area worked all day as well to help.
I am constantly amazed that when the people here in our community are faced with adversity, they stand up, and they will prevail. To all the support personnel ,as well as all the neighbors living here in this section of Dyersville, you should be very proud of the fact that once again you have shown us why we live here. Thank you for that.