The shock, euphoria and amazement at surviving Friday’s eastern New Mexico tornadoes are slowly changing for residents of Roosevelt, Curry and Quay counties, including the communities of Logan and Clovis.
Five days later, our thoughts and energies are focused on cleaning up, rebuilding and moving forward with our lives even as we mourn the death of the only person to perish from the storms, Heleneta Blevins of Clovis, who died early Tuesday morning.
How no one else died right away, or even since then despite 35 people reporting injuries, is a mystery we cannot fathom, but for which we are grateful beyond words.
After all, the paths of the Logan and Clovis tornadoes ripped through parts of both communities, including a trailer park up north and residential neighborhoods in southern Clovis. In Roosevelt County, the twister cost several hundred dairy cows their lives and destroyed the facility but not the people inside.
As disasters always do, these events have brought out mostly the goodness in most people. Those scenes are the ones we will recall years or decades from now. Mostly forgotten will be the cowardly deeds of a few, like those who broke into a Salvation Army shed and stole its contents. They should be ashamed of themselves.
We’ll also remember just how hard many tired city, county and state personnel worked long hours alongside hundreds of Cannon Air Force Base and New Mexico National Guard personnel. They were a welcome sight even more for some folks when the military brought lots of heavy equipment to speed up their clean-up work.
Our thanks go out to the thousands of anonymous residents who pitched in with money or goods or muscles. To our Cannon friends, your deeds show how our towns have become yours. To the paid public servants in these cities and counties, we know we could never pay enough to repay you in full.
May all of you be as blessed someday as you have blessed us.