Friday | October 20, 2017
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The can-do spirit rises after Oklahoma tornado

By now Kansas City area residents know the drill when it comes to helping fellow Midwesterners after tornadoes have devastated their communities, as occurred Monday afternoon in Moore, Okla., and south Oklahoma City.

Contribute money to groups such as the Red Cross, Salvation Army and others providing emergency aid.

Mourn the lost lives, pray for the injured and celebrate the miracles that spared children, adults and beloved pets from near-certain death.

As of Tuesday, despite widespread destruction in Moore, the death toll was blessedly lower than had been feared just a day earlier. Rescue workers were combing through flattened buildings. Parents were hugging children rescued from two destroyed schools, but also mourning young students who died inside one of them.

Monday showed, once again, the value of early warning systems. Forecasters posted a tornado warning more than 16 minutes before the storm roared into Moore.

People took cover as best they could in a city where fewer than 10 percent have basements, partly because the expanding and contracting clay soil there makes it difficult to build them.

Moore rebuilt after a devastating 1999 tornado and will be challenged to do so again. That’s the essential can-do spirit that has brought Joplin, Mo., Greensburg, Kan., and other cities back from the rubble.