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Harrison Countians overcome the elements, avert tragedy

The bad news is that heavy rain and the flooding that followed Friday evening, Sept. 22, and again the next day, canceled most of the two-day Cockadoodle Days festival at the Harrison County Fairgrounds. The good news is that heavy rain and the flooding that followed canceled most of the two-day Cockadoodle Days festival at the Harrison County Fairgrounds.
Organizers of the event turned the weekend into a learning experience and took the whole mess in stride. Make no mistake about it, it was a mess.
Once again, Mother Nature proved that she will have her way, and she sure was thirsty that weekend and hungry for a few mud pies.
She got what she needed, but she didn’t get in the way of Leadership Harrison County’s optimistic approach to handling the situation. Those people obviously believe in the politically correct response: ‘There are no problems, only opportunities.’ It wouldn’t hurt more of us to follow that advice.
Leadership Harrison County, just as one might expect, set the standard when it comes to coping.
First of all, the group was as prepared for the festival as possible, should it rain. The day before the events were to start, arrangements were made to move the band concerts under roof due to the wet forecast.
Other contingency plans were in place as well, but not ones that could prevail over torrential downpours lasting on and off for two days, downpours that turned little creeks into raging tributaries and overpowered drainage systems.
Despite it all, most participants went about the clean-up in a neighborly fashion, acknowledging that the turn of events were no one’s fault. ‘You can’t control the weather,’ many said, followed by, ‘Can I help you?’
Now leaders such as the festival’s co-chairman Donn Blank say the disappointing turn of events has shown organizers how to best prepare for the future. For starters, they’ll keep as many activities under roof as possible. The dedication those people showed to the cause they find so important ‘ leadership ‘ should be an inspiration to all Harrison Countians who strive to improve the lives of others.
Simply put, we were more encouraged by the ability of everyone to work together and lend a helping hand than we would have been by any amount of money the festival could have raised. We think the value of people should always outshine ‘things.’
The weekend flooding also gave town and county workers and volunteers a chance to show their stuff. And they came out looking as sharp as a new razor blade.
Volunteer firefighters stood at the ready. In Lanesville they were called to extinguish a blaze that cost one man his home, but it could have been worse. The fire could have spread to a nearby propane tank and other buildings. This was a potentially deadly situation, and the Lanesville firefighters and others who went to help saved further tragedy.
Highway workers throughout the county went to work keeping roads as passable as possible and for those roads that weren’t, putting up yellow barricades or signs warning of high water. Police and others busily went about the job of evacuating people in homes threatened by rising water. Obviously, neighbors helped neighbors survive the ordeal. There were no deaths attributed to the flooding, which is in itself a tribute to our highway crews, emergency responders and watchful neighbors.
Take a bow.

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