A long road lies ahead in the tornado-ravaged small towns of southern Butler and Marion counties, as well as the flood-soaked areas here in Ames. Homes, schools, government offices, churches - entire communities reduced to piles of unrecognizable lumber or ruined by large volumes of water. Then there is the human cost - seven dead, dozens injured, and hundreds homeless.
Too often the epic devastation is many hundreds of miles away - the plains of western Kansas, the oil towns of Oklahoma, or the cattle lands of the Texas Panhandle. But, just nine days ago, the destructive force of the tornado - a phenomenon hardly surpassed in random destructive capability - visited here in our own backyard. Then floodwaters quite literally did the same.There are now homes, businesses, and institutions to be rebuilt, farms to put back in order, and communities to be resurrected from the rubble. There are also hearts to be mended, survivors to be comforted, and homeless to be cared for.
Much is often made of the Midwestern penchant for magnanimity and generosity. Through floods, ice storms, blizzards, tornadoes and all other manner of natural disasters, a single recurring theme echoes through our collective conscience, that of "Iowans helping Iowans."
We bake pies and casseroles when our neighbors are bereaved. Communities hold benefits for those in dire medical straits. Volunteer firemen across the state serve their neighbors and communities at great risk to their own persons. Service and compassion for others is ingrained in the very identity of being an Iowan.
To that end, we here at the Iowa State Daily editorial board wholeheartedly encourage everyone who is able to contribute to the relief efforts now underway in the areas affected by this state's recent natural disasters.