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Obliteration in the south cries for help from the north

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other opinions Detroit Lakes, 56501
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We complain sometimes about our weather. Hey, we're only human. The grumbling has been particularly loud this unseasonably cold, miserably wet and ridiculously snowy spring.

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But even though there were large, white flakes smacking us in the face this week, our gripes were stifled, silenced by news of weather in the southern United Sates that was beyond annoying or unpleasant; it was downright destructive -- and deadly.

Dozens of tornados tore across six southern states, turning to rubble and debris countless homes and businesses and killing at least 290 people. Mangled bodies were pulled from rubble where once stood entire neighborhoods and cities.

For those left behind, the destruction was unfathomable. "We were in the bathroom holding on to each other and holding on to dear life," Samantha Nail, whose Pleasant Grove, Ala., neighborhood was anything but pleasant when Wednesday's storm struck, told the Associated Press. "If it wasn't for our concrete walls, our home would be gone like the rest of them." Like a home ripped from its foundation in Kemper County, Miss., where two sisters and their sister-in-law perished. "They were thrown into those pines over there," a stunned relative said, pointing.

For us, watching from afar, our mouths agape in disbelief, the terrible toll and the obliteration offered far more than perspective, though there was plenty of that. A little cold tomorrow? That suddenly sounds fine, doesn't it?

Our hearts and prayers can go out to the victims and survivors. And, more tangibly, so can our dollars.

As it always does, the American Red Cross is providing shelter and relief to the hardest-hit areas. To support the efforts go to americanredcross.org. Or call (800) 733-2767. Or text "REDCROSS" to 90999 to make a $10 donation.

The Salvation Army's Emergency Disaster Services also is responding with food and support for victims. Donate by going to salvationarmyusa.org and specifying "April 2011 Tornado Outbreak." Or call (800) 725-2769. Or text "GIVE" to 80888 to make a $10 donation. Checks can be made to Salvation Army Disaster Relief, P.O. Box 100339, Atlanta, Ga., 30384-0339.

We can sympathize, our hearts aching, as well we should -- and without complaining about Mother Nature's cool hand in our corner of the globe this spring.

But we also can help, the way we so often do -- because we're only human. -- Duluth News Tribune

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