How does Exceptional Weather Affect Communities

There is a paradox in the way exceptional weather affects communities.

It tears them apart, and brings them closer. Wrecks their lives and builds their characters. Breaks some down and builds others up. Removes some from life and keeps the living together.

Extraordinary weather doesn’t chose who it visits. Heat, cold, wind or rain knocks on the doors of the wealthy and poor alike. Of any brimming with health or another in sickness. Some in households and others in hospitals. From babes in their cribs to the elderly in nursing homes. Or finds able bodies to the disabled. It asks not who.

It visits teachers and students in schools or in play-grounds. Sportsmen or women on fields or in locker rooms. Crowds in stadiums or many in cinemas. Numerous in churches or any in jails. Policemen on duty or criminals in action. Fishermen at sea or even planes in the skies.

We could run through the gamut from A to Z of where and what a person within a community is, but when such weather wreaks havoc, not all are prepared. One moment the sun can be shining and out of nowhere a severe electrical storm catches folk off guard. Caught in flash flooding, their homes or shops a-swill with water, while others are swept off roads in their cars.

Exceeding weather has a way of delivering by dumping, whether wallops of hail stones, or bolts of high voltage lightening. Accompanied by tons of water when the sky opens, awash and soaked without relief any unfortunate to be overtaken. Turning roads to rivers, and rivers to flooded seas. Resulting in communities sometimes plunged into land slides, covered in mud and wreckage from each other’s abode.

Mountains turn to liquid in torrents of raging muck, through streets and alleyways, and every open doorway. Carrying folk and animals as useless as rubble, tumbling or drowning, with no selection. It churns like rapids through parks or burial sites, and has no feeling for what is smothers.

Extremes as cyclones are usually forewarned – not like the results of earthquakes or tsunamis – when a rush for refuge out of it’s path takes every way possible. Some make it and others become stranded. Those who cannot escape the onslaught, are left to whatever it brings in it’s wake. Their homes, farms, towns or cities, ripped apart by winds and gales of intense rage. While shore-lines lash houses into their seas, or wash boats into streets, stranded with abandonment.

When winds without equal stretch down tornado tentacles form above in their fury, sucking up anything and anyone-one in furious funnels. Hurling humans, animals, creatures, trees and splintered homes into scattered heaps of rubble and broken bodies as one. It asks not why some have bunkers or others have none, nor tells which path it may turn on indiscriminately.

When winters freeze into black ice, or pile on their white blizzards, anyone and everything can be broken and bent. Without warmth and power, kept prisoners to it’s wake, taking the lives of the helpless and the live-stock into it’s frozen arms for life.

Opposites in fire storms rage from a spark, thundering through lives or land with a kindled thirst to destroy. Leaving blackened reminders of memories, loved-ones, and consuming existence  of the earth it ravaged. Just as acute heat waves, suck any life-force to weaken the feeble, snatching the living into clutches of awakened angry temperatures.

If this is but a glimpse of what damage such exceptional weather can do, communities are for a while left dazed when finding the damage. Searching for loved ones, surveying their losses. Gathering as one, strangers are counted as friends, foes forgotten when comfort is needed. Pulling together where rescue is required. Professions meet, where society once selected.

Tragedies shed tears on one another’s shoulders, mourn together for anyone’s kin, count their blessings when everything’s assessed. Living is the communities life-line of existence, when time periods of intense weather break them asunder. Survival is counted a most precious asset, against material possessions lost.

Building again is a spirit of courage, in the face of endurance who takes on the elements. Hope now gathers in the hearts of each other of whether or not it will all happen again.  Just as droughts bring famine, they remember each other.

And reverence calls for a time to commemorate, each year they recall when they were all one.