Sarah Stultz: In case you forgot, we have a great community

Published 9:07 pm Monday, April 15, 2019

Nose for News by Sarah Stultz


When I woke up Thursday morning, I immediately knew it was going to be a long day for us here at the office.

Email newsletter signup

Off and on throughout the night, there had been loud thunder and lightning, which woke up everyone in our house on more than one occasion.

I hopped on Facebook first thing that morning to see what was happening around the community and came across a friend who had posted about a tree being down on Marie Avenue, which is pretty close to where my in-laws live.

While my phone worked through my cell phone carrier, I noticed right away that our Wi-Fi was down in our house when I tried to connect my laptop to update the Tribune’s website about the school delays and cancellations coming in that morning.

Luckily we still had power, and I was able to continue on with my normal routine. After getting my son off to his babysitter’s house after the district canceled school,  I headed into work to see what was happening.

Soon I found I was one of the lucky ones spared. Thousands were without power, and I was hearing of other instances of downed trees. At that point I didn’t know the severity of what was going on — that there were hundreds of downed power poles  and it would be days for some until the power was restored because of the widespread nature of the damage.

I put a call out for photos of what people were seeing near their homes and then it started to become a little clearer what was taking place.

We were sent images of power poles, normally upright, that were instead laying down horizontal on the ground. There were other poles that were snapped in two. It was quickly becoming a dangerous situation.

On Friday, as I was traveling with my son to Mankato for a medical procedure, I drove on Minnesota Highway 13 and witnessed the severity of the damage firsthand as I passed pole after pole from Manchester to New Richland that was damaged.

Though having power out was a big deal, I was glad there wasn’t much additional damage to homes and farms.

I enjoyed watching the community come together as it has in times of natural disaster and hardship in the past.

There were shelters set up to house people without power, gyms offering people affected to use their showers and other businesses helping in any way they could.

Another feel-good story we heard was about Glenville First Lutheran Church providing pizza for the line crew one evening.

Though I wouldn’t wish for these experiences again, I can’t help but notice that these experiences always make our community stronger. In times of hardship, residents always come together — whether it’s checking on neighbors, offering a place to stay, offering physical labor, meals or other things.

All the kind acts have not gone unnoticed, and it is my hope that they continue.

Sarah Stultz is the managing editor of the Tribune. Her column appears every Tuesday.