To the unsung heroes

Published 4:23 pm Thursday, October 11, 2018

Michael has come and gone, and good riddance. Throughout the Southeast, the storm left catastrophic damage and at least two fatalities. Yesterday, wide swaths of North Carolina were underneath the storm, with torrential rains causing heavy flooding in the mountains.

Here in Beaufort County, the storm’s impact was minimal compared to the damage done by Hurricane Florence. Likewise, the storm’s skirting our neighbors to the south saved storm-beaten areas a second round with Mother Nature’s fury in as many months.

Although we didn’t see much, that doesn’t mean area governments and agencies took the storm lightly. On the contrary, from Chocowinity to Belhaven, municipal workers were busy throughout the week making preparations in the event that Michael passed through our area.

The men and women making those preparations go by many names — public works staff, utility workers, et cetera. And yet there is another name, less frequently utilized, but perhaps more appropriate. The people who take care of the public spaces of our cities, towns and Beaufort County are civil servants in the true sense of the word.

Through their efforts, area residents can take comfort in knowing that our infrastructure is well cared for, our lights stay on and that our water and sewer keep flowing. Their work, while oftentimes unrecognized or underappreciated, is absolutely critical to the functioning of our society.

When disaster threatens, these people don’t take off work. Rather, they jump into action to ensure that their fellow citizens’ needs are taken care of. So next time you see these folks at work, take a minute to say “Thank you.” While it is easy to appreciate their efforts in times of crisis, let’s not forget what they do to keep our communities running each and every day.