The recent storms that blew through St. Louis were an inconvenience to many, a serious trial to some, and - to a few - they were fatal winds. As the power comes back on to most places, we have learned about the deaths of four City residents from the stifling heat, and the death of a repairman working to restore the power service that would run air conditioners and fans.
These deaths are tragedies. There was room in neighborhood cooling centers and public buildings for everyone who sought their shelter. Although these deaths do not diminish the bravery and dedication of the days and hours of life-saving and clean-up by City and state employees, neighborhood and civic groups, and neighbors, they must diminish our sense of accomplishment. Police, firefighters, National Guardsmen, Health Department employees, and volunteers knocked on hundreds of doors offering assistance. There is no doubt in my mind that this intense effort saved lives, but they could not be everywhere at the same time.
If you have lost track of any neighbor or relative since the storm, please reach out to them right away.