For all the talk these days about how climate change may devastate some areas of the globe, area residents are well aware that freak storms - occurring no matter what the general pattern of weather is - are to be feared more. Today is the 22nd anniversary of one such disaster, the terrible flooding of June 14, 1990 in East Ohio.
After torrential rain poured from the skies during a period of just hours, several narrow valleys were hit by flash floods. Survivors described walls of water smashing everything in their paths.
The angry brown water swept away 26 lives in East Ohio, most of them along Pipe and Wegee creeks. Scores of homes were destroyed. Many who managed to scramble to safety said their first warning of danger was rapidly rising water in their homes.
Since then steps have been taken to provide more warning of flash floods. Limited measures have been put in place to restrict the severity of such disasters. Still, people who live in our area understand full well there are no guarantees of safety.
At the same time we remember the guarantee we do have in times of tragedy: We know neighbors, some from adjoining states, will rush to our aid. Sometimes their rapid, courageous response saves lives. Often it helps rebuild them.
Each June 14 many local residents reflect on the horror of that night 22 years ago. It is appropriate, too, to remember with thankfulness the compassion that showered down on us afterward.