The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Opinion

December 24, 2013

Our View: Grinches and good guys

— Mother Nature routinely throws us curves, and there’s no good time for bad weather. But when it cancels our parades, our Christmas programs and our church services, as it has done throughout December, we cry “Grinch.”

On the bright side, where there are Grinches, there are good guys and gals who suffer through the weather to keep you safe and to keep you informed.

Our appreciation goes to emergency personnel who have helped stranded or injured motorists. Cold weather and power outages also are linked to recent house fires. Battling those blazes is never an easy task, but cold and ice make it even more treacherous.

Thanks to the linemen and utility workers throughout our area who have put their plans on hold so you have light and heat. Empire District Electric Co. had 5,000 without power on Saturday night because of ice on lines and tree limbs. That number was down to about 150 as of noon on Monday, but we have been told the number will go up and down as ice melts and tree limbs snap back into place, taking utility lines with them.

In addition to an aggressive tree-trimming program, Empire has been upgrading equipment and breaking the system into smaller pieces so that if a fault occurs on a line affecting one person, it won’t automatically affect the entire neighborhood.

Paper carriers and postal workers have battled the ice to bring you news, Christmas cards and the occasional bill. Thank the messengers even if you don’t always like the message.

Stay safe, and be careful not to needlessly put yourself in harm’s way. Check on neighbors and pets, and put out some extra feed for the birds.

Do your part to be a good guy and not a Grinch.

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