Storms spared us, but not others

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We have learned the hard way when it comes to severe weather: Prepare for the worst; hope for the best.

Occasionally, the amount of caution we apply seems excessive.

On Wednesday, area students were dismissed from class early. Emergency crews urged people to stay home. Much of North Carolina was under a tornado watch until 7 p.m. and under a high wind advisory until midnight.

When the sun came up Thursday, we counted our blessings.

We saw more than our share of wind, rain and hail, in some places, especially around Oxford. But most of the Twin Counties area survived with little damage or inconvenience.

That, unfortunately, was not the case this week in other parts of North Carolina or elsewhere in the Southeast.

The same storm system that skirted across Eastern North Carolina turned deadly in Virginia, where a tornado tore through a mobile home, killing two men and a 2-year-old. In all, at least eight people were killed this week in weather-related catastrophes from the Deep South up through Virginia.

The scene outside our windows Wednesday seemed to alternate between blue skies and pending apocalypse. We are thankful the storms were not any worse than they were in our area, and our hearts go out to the families dealing with the awful aftermath elsewhere.