2014-02-21 / Spectrum

Community’s heart on display during storm

Into the pages of history goes Icepocalypse 2014.

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Don’t get us wrong – we are not making light of the historic freeze that occurred in the Central Savannah River Area last Tuesday through Thursday. Hundreds of thousands were without power. Damage to homes and property seems almost incalculable. The misery index needle was buried in the red end of the dial.

But the reaction of the Fort Gordon community to last week’s deep freeze seemed to be acceptance with an air of nonchalance and determination. “Ice? Fine, whatever. Let’s roll.”

In truth, electricity continued to flow on post for the most part, so the misery index never peaked in the way it did for many of our CSRA neighbors. But no one on Fort Gordon got a free pass during the storm.

Perhaps the fact that we had a couple of rehearsals in recent months hardened us to the potential effects of inclement weather. After all, we survived a lengthy power outage in late December, and only a few weeks ago we powered through a significant snowfall and closure of installation facilities. So, as the freezing rain began to fall last Tuesday, you could practically hear the collective voice of the installation flatly stating, “We got this.”

Even on installation social media sites, normally a venue for over-the-top expressions of outrage and frustration, coolness and calmness prevailed. Visitors to the site didn’t make demands or rail against the installation response. For the most part, they asked questions. Good questions.

Perhaps that says something about the deliberate way the installation managed its response to the storm. Leaders began convening early in the process to discuss options. Comprehensive plans were assembled, timely decisions were made, and information got to the community in short order.

Or perhaps it says something about the nature of the Fort Gordon community. For example, many of the questions about the installation response asked on social media sites were asked on behalf of others. Lots of visitors jumped in to give advice and assistance to their fellow citizens. And, note the comment below, posted Wednesday as the storm was peaking:

“We don’t have much, but we know how it is to go without. If anyone on post loses power, especially those with little ones. Our power is on, we have heat, food, a blow up bed, couch, and play pen. We can probably fit a small family if the need arises. Stay safe everyone!”

It is probably axiomatic that those dedicated to helping others are less prone to grouse about their own predicaments. Still, the heart of the Fort Gordon community was as easy to spot as the piles of tree limbs and debris left by the ice storm.

Power outage? Check. Snow? Check. Ice storm? Check.

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