We got a taste of hurricane season right off the bat this year with Tropical Storm Andrea. Andrea spawned a waterspout that came ashore as a tornado in downtown Gulfport on the morning of June 6. The storm caused a good deal of damage to some homes and local businesses, and felled many trees and power lines as it moved from the beach northward to Clymer Park and beyond.
Thankfully, due in part to luck and in part to prepared residents, there were no reported injuries associated with the storm. I want to commend our city's emergency responders, whether citizens, city crews, volunteer organizations or simply concerned passers by, for their level-headedness and altruism in the wake of this event.
News crews descended on Gulfport, in the midst of cleanup efforts, to report on the damage, but a deeper and less material element became the core of these stories: what the media witnessed and shared with the world that morning was an inspired and communal effort to restore order. People came out of the woodwork, in the rain and the wind, to help out neighbors because it was the right thing to do. That makes me proud to be a part of this city. We can disagree, we can bicker, we can throw proverbial stones at one another, but when the chips are down – Gulfport sticks up for Gulfport.
My thanks to all of the folks who put their backs and their hearts into aiding the neighborhood that morning. It was a pleasure earning some sore muscles and splinters with you, and inevitably, we will certainly do it again. Keep up the good work, and stay prepared for future storms.