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The derecho, one year later

As so many have already posted about on social media, today is the one year anniversary of the derecho that hit Eastern Iowa with devastating effect. Many are still recovering from the damage and associated expenses. We too had tree damage and were without power for several days, but were more fortunate than many.

What I will also remember, however, is the time immediately after the storm passed. People coming out of their homes to check on neighbors, help them clear debris, and utility crews and city staff working diligently to fix power lines and open roads. I know I put a lot sweat into clearing a street so a neighbor could reach their driveway and there were countless others doing the same.

That assistance wasn't contingent on who someone was voting for or what political sign they had in their yard. A neighbor with a chain saw wasn't sent away because of their party affiliation or policy views. We were just fellow Iowa City neighbors helping each other. We were decent to each other and praised city workers (and we have a great group of them, which doesn't get said often enough) for all they did. It showed the best of Iowa City.

As we see so much vulgarity, name calling and mean-spirited snark fly around social media and elsewhere, I hope you will be reminded of what it means to work with and help each other. It's so much more powerful and leads to such better outcomes.

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