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Don’t Gawk At Turmoil

February 21, 2018
Wetzel Chronicle

It's commonly known that disaster sometimes has a way of bringing out the good in people. There is absolutely no doubt that there was a fair share of kindness that prevailed throughout the flooding and turmoil in the Ohio Valley this past weekend. Friends and neighbors helped one another prepare for the worst, such as by moving belongings to higher ground, away from the threat of the impending floodwaters.

That being said, the Ohio River's crest in New Martinsville also brought out another - horrific and embarrassing - side: the sight-seeing side.

Saturday evening, New Martinsville Police Department posted on its social media page, politely asking the public to - unless they live or conduct business in the area - avoid downtown.

Approximately an hour later, NMPD sent forth another message, this time from the chief, himself.

Sight-seers were threatened with citation if they were caught in the downtown area. It was reported that folks were driving through floodwater, which was then moving further into the homes of residents.

This is rather embarrassing.

Law enforcement should not have to ask twice for individuals to stay away from a hectic and dangerous situation. Having to navigate through "sight-seers" makes the situation worse. It might even perhaps interfere with getting aid to those who are actually in need.

We hope folks heed law enforcement's advice if there is ever such a disaster again. Of course, we hope there isn't.

In the meantime, if you would really like to survey the damage, why not stay alert to flood relief efforts, and volunteer to help with clean-up?



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