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Eastern Charles, Calvert tornado victims should also be remembered

[ Return To Senator Roy Dyson's Newsletter ]

Posted on May 07, 2003:

Senator Dyson For Charles and Calvert county residents, April 28 will serve as a “day of infamy” throughout the lifetimes of those who lived through the devastating F4 tornado that swept through La Plata then went on to damage homes and property in Hughesville, Benedict and south of Prince Frederick.

On the one-year anniversary of the tornado, La Plata mourned those who died in the attack and celebrated the remarkable rebirth of the town. I was proud to participate in some of the events and congratulate the people who helped those in need when the tragedy struck so suddenly on that awful day.

While La Plata deserves tremendous recognition for its recovery, what seemed to me to be forgotten in all of the pageantry in Charles County’s county seat was the victims of the tornado in Hughesville, Benedict and Calvert County. We lost an elderly couple in Calvert who were well loved and who had no idea when they awoke on a gorgeous sunny day what Nature was to do to them at around 7 p.m. in the evening.

Let’s also remember the emotional scars that still linger from those who lived through that awful storm. I still hear from many of the people who saw or heard the tornado that still have bad dreams about the tornado. I feel the most for the children who lived through it.

It is also important to give kudos to the fire and rescue personnel from Benedict, Hughesville, Calvert and St. Mary’s who did such a tremendous job under enormous pressure and stress to restore order as soon as possible. Their efforts were above and beyond the call of duty.

I was absolutely astounded at not only the Terminator-like efficiency of the EMS and firemen and woman, but the caring and compassion they showed toward those who were emotionally devastated by the tornado. In addition to clearing a lot of trees and getting people to safety, these volunteer heroes also wiped away many a tear from those they were helping.

The evidence of the destruction is still with us even today. Trees that we will never replace are still down and some homes on Route 5 and 231 are still boarded up. A lot of work still needs to be done.

So while we praise La Plata’s resurgence, let’s also never forget those in the other areas of Charles and Calvert County who were affected by one of the worst natural disasters to occur on the East Coast in 70 years.

[ Return To Senator Roy Dyson's Newsletter ]

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