Tornado just another element of surprise for us

Again, our balloon of security has been a bit punctured.

Hurricane watches and warnings? We’re old pros at those. Nor’easters? When is there not a nor’easter brewing somewhere that we keep a collective eye on, especially as the fall approaches? There are geographic relationships with natural disasters on our planet, and ours is a community that often faces torrential storms and floodings, but not earthquakes or tornadoes.

Until we do.

Many of us remember quite vividly feeling an earthquake in our office several years ago, and this week’s EF-1 tornado that hit Salisbury was sobering in that it proved to us once again that anything is, in fact, possible.

The images of the aftermath of Monday’s tornado were chilling, and it is a stroke of blind luck or divine interference that prevented catastrophic injuries or deaths in the tornado’s path.

And now we all will take that next tornado warning a little more seriously.

Extreme weather is not the only thing that has tampered with our sense of security. For years, many around here thought of heroin as a drug that kind of disappeared for a while, or really only made the scene in bigger cities, or areas with less collective wealth. But it has hit here, and taken down people from nearly every walk of life and upbringing. It has brought with it rampant property crime — and, all too often, death.

We are facing the same challenges as nearly every other community in the country, and those just weren’t expected. But neither was a tornado ripping through downtown Salisbury.

It’s time we all start taking these warnings more seriously.