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Our View: Natural disasters have power to bring out the best in us

Natural disasters, for all their terror and destruction, tend to bring out the best in people.

Hurricane Harvey is the latest piece of evidence proving that axiom. Rains pounded Houston this past week. Streets are flooded. People have died.

Through all that, there’s plenty of good that shines. Regular folks, people like you and us, have taken their personal boats and spent time saving neighbors. Others have hopped inside their large vehicles and opted to cart people to and from their homes.



This knee-jerk goodwill is something to encourage at all times, not just when the heavens open up.

The heaviest downpour in the nation’s history has broken buildings, destroyed property and bruised memories. Our response should take the shape of joined hands, prepped for work, ready to rebuild.

We saw this in Nevada County last winter, when authorities ordered evacuations over fears of a failure at the Oroville Dam spillway. The fairgrounds opened its doors, as did churches and other organizations. Volunteers gave their time and plenty of people gave their money.




We’ve had some tough breaks in Nevada County this year: Some washed out roads, a flooded Lefty’s Grill in downtown Nevada City, the current Pleasant Fire that’s grown to around 400 acres.

Our difficulties, however, don’t compare with the deluge Houston and other areas have experienced this week. Reports state that some 19 trillion gallons of rain have fallen over southeast Texas. One estimate states Harvey’s impact could total $190 billion.

Those affected by the hurricane need our prayers. They also need our support.

A 4 p.m. Sunday fundraising concert is scheduled for Peace Lutheran Church, 828 W. Main St., Grass Valley. The event is free, though people can bring donations for flood victims.

Donations can be made online as well. People can visit http://www.peacelutherangv.org, http://www.redcross.org and http://www.salvationarmyusa.org to give.

Much like the recent eclipse, Harvey has the power to bring people together who otherwise never would have met. The heaviest downpour in the nation’s history has broken buildings, destroyed property and bruised memories. Our response should take the shape of joined hands, prepped for work, ready to rebuild.

And let’s ensure that our hands remain joined in solidarity, forming a community, long after Harvey’s effects dissipate.

Political divisions will always exist. They’re necessary in many examples and, when employed properly, enable healthy debate.

But we must cast aside these and other divisions when natural disasters strike. Houston is an example to our nation and planet that political parties, race and religion play no role when determining who needs help.

We can set an example as well.

Many in our community have already stepped up to help with the Pleasant Fire. They stepped up this past winter when the rain came and they were there for the 49er fire in 1988.

This time around, we’re not the ones directly affected by a horrific disaster that took the form of Hurricane, and then Tropical Storm, Harvey. But we still have a chance to help those who need it.

We should take it.

The weekly Our View column represents the consensus opinion of The Union Editorial Board, a group of editors and writers from The Union, as well as informed community members. Contact the board at EditBoard@TheUnion.com.


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