Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

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December 1, 2013

ED VASICEK: Patience is a difficult discipline to master

Remember: Officials are folks of good will

Lots of church youth groups (including ours) worked the Saturday after the tornado, helping to clear properties from limbs and other debris. Many community and neighborhood groups used their gloved hands to pile up rubble on behalf of storm victims.

For most of us in Kokomo, the odd truth is that life goes on pretty much as it did a month ago. Out of necessity, we may patronize competing businesses; we may choose alternate routes in the name of speed. Yet unless we or someone close to us was affected, our routines are stable. Our consciences whisper this is horribly unfair, but such is the nature of natural disaster. One house destroyed, the house next door untouched.

Last week, our trash pickup was delayed a couple of days. I thought the delay would be much longer, in light of the tornadoes’ impact. This week, the pickup was right on schedule, not missing a beat. The city and county are up and running.

Scott Smith of the Kokomo Tribune recently reported, “Some 60 businesses were hit by the tornadoes which slashed through Kokomo, with Eriks Chevrolet possibly bearing the worst damage. Insurance adjusters were trying to determine this week how much of the dealership’s large inventory was damaged by the storm.

“Local and state officials have begun the lengthy process of determining many of the costs associated with the storm, but the loss of economic activity might be one of the toughest numbers to isolate.

“‘It’s going to take us months,’ said the city’s director of development Steve Whikehart, who is busy compiling an ‘impact statement’ for the Federal Emergency Management Agency.”

Working with federal and state agencies, city and county leaders have a lot to figure out. Home and business owners are in frequent contact with their insurance agents, who, in turn, have to work with higher-ups in their organizations. Perhaps none of us can imagine the red tape (now relocated to cyberspace) these folks must wade through in their attempt to return our community to a pre-tornado state.

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