Well folks, Cottonwood and our area has survived another winter storm and multiple closed roads. I cannot begin to say how proud and happy I am with our community, pulling together to help not only neighbors, but folks traveling that they have never met and will probably never see again.
Everyone, from Nick Gehring and his Cottonwood Highway District crew busting through five-foot snowdrifts, so the fire department could get to a house with a chimney fire and staying in the area to keep the road open, then escorting us all back to make sure we made it. To Dan Coburn and the Baptist Church, opening their doors to weary travelers to provide a warm place to stay, to many community members providing food and blankets for travelers, to the point Dan had to respectfully decline offers. To the Mizer family, delivering treats to stuck semi-trucks on the highway (They loved that! Nearly broke down emotionally telling me how much it meant to them). To Cottonwood Fire Chief Danly and his daughter, braving closed roads in their own vehicle to assist folks stuck on unplowed roads. To Cottonwood Fire volunteer Zach Hasselstrom stepping up and manning the road closure when I had another call to respond to, and to the patience and tolerance of everyone when we had dozens and dozens of cars sitting on Main Street, waiting for the highway to open, which did cause a bit of congestion and problems.
Folks, due to the extreme weather, much of that we had to do on our own. The roads prevented extra resources and assistance from getting here. Our EMS crews responded through drifted roads to help folks, our fire department went through drifted roads to help, our road crews worked hand in hand to help these agencies, and most importantly, our citizens stepped up to help where they could.
To all of you, I can only say, thank you. Y'all are amazing and please know it is appreciated.
I've also copied a message from Baptist Church Pastor Dan Coburn below:
“I can't tell you all how much you are appreciated. The absolute ‘mobilization’ of the folks in my hometown was unbelievable. I'm not going to attempt to thank each individual as I would fall short, but know that multiple businesses, the Catholic Church and a plethora of individuals, either offered or simply stopped by with food, juice, blankets, water, boxes of ‘sweet N salty granola bars’, candy, a veggie tray with ranch, multiple kinds of cheese sticks, fruit snacks; - one "de-luxe" couple came and made a big pot of chili, another family ran around town picking up donations of soup and such from people who wanted to help, but couldn't get out. A large part of my night was spent graciously turning down help from folks who wanted so badly to help, but we were ‘full up’. Did I mention sacks of nuts w/dried fruit?
I praise God for His resources, but I could not be prouder of my town. There was a line of people coming in to contribute. I broke down a couple of times as their generosity facilitated my ability to visit with each and every one of the weary travelers – some of whom had been in their cars with their families since 9 or 10 a.m. yesterday morning. I cannot thank you all enough. Karon and I thank you for allowing us to be in the Cottonwood family. We are blessed on all sides. Some decided to brave the roads when they learned some had made it through Highway 7, while the bulk of them wanted to wait till 95 was reopened. Still, some had had enough and didn't want to re-engage ‘till the sun came up this morning. They – to the man, were grateful to you all, as well. Thank you. Also, a special thanks to Police Chief Terry as he caravanned folks to our door many times and kept us abreast of road conditions.”