Beginning Tuesday afternoon, when area schools closed early in anticipation of the arrival the Wednesday afternoon storm that ultimately dropped four-to-eight inches of snow in the Golden Triangle, caution was the order of the day.
Schools were out Wednesday and Thursday, along with many government offices.
No one could seriously argue the wisdom of these decisions, of course. When bad weather approaches, these precautions are viewed as prudent.
Yet there are some people in our community whose service is most needed when conditions are at their worst.
Now that the storm has passed and we resume our normal activities, it seems appropriate to take a moment to tip our hats in appreciation to those we rely on in these situations.
It is a list that includes law enforcement, fire department, EMTs and others who provide what are called “essential services.”
We thank them all, yet we want to call special attention to another group of people whose work this week has been especially important: our utility workers.
Across the Golden Triangle, roughly 6,000 households lost power as snow-and-ice-laden tree limbs crashed down onto power lines, making it a chilly Wednesday night for those customers.
By this morning, 4-County Electric Power Association reports the number of outages is down to 64 with 341 residents without power.
Starkville Electric said 50 of its customers lost power, but all of those outages had been corrected by Thursday morning. It was the same at Columbus Light & Water, which had restored power to roughly 200 customers by Thursday morning.
In weather “not fit for man nor beast,” our utility company crews were out there, defying icing roads and bone-chilling cold to restore power to their customers as quickly as possible.
It has been a long 36 hours for these workers and while the work continues for those few who remain without power, we find it appropriate to pause, while the storm remains fresh in our minds, and thank our utility workers for their work.
There is little doubt that their efforts made a difficult time far less burdensome than it would otherwise have been.
We thank you, quite literally, for your service.
The Dispatch Editorial Board is made up of publisher Peter Imes, columnist Slim Smith, managing editor Zack Plair and senior newsroom staff.
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