Remembering the Baxter Springs Tornado, Six Years Later
It's been six years since a tornado entered Cherokee County, injuring over two dozen people and damaging over 100 homes and businesses as it ripped through Baxter Springs. Thinking back on that evening, I remember what a blessing it was not to have significant loss of life, especially considering the destruction left in the path of the storm. I also think about how incredible the response was.
Immediately after the storm, neighbors began helping neighbors, strangers came to help simply because they were capable of providing assistance to those in need. And while the force of the tornado was impressive, what was even more impressive was the sense of community, the desire - determination - to not allow something beyond our control to knock us down and keep us down.
Because the people of this county and region are resilient, they immediately began to get back on their feet. It may have taken longer for some than others but our community was committed to supporting one another and moving forward.
Although we all wish the storm and destruction would have never happened, most of the time, even during tragic situations, positive things emerge. I came away from the storm response with even more pride in calling Cherokee County home, especially after seeing first hand many of our residents and businesses impressively and selflessly step up to help one another, simply because it was the right thing to do.
Although what happened the evening of April 27, 2014 is not the same as what we are experiencing today with the COVID-19 pandemic, there are similarities. The main similarity for me is how people continue to rise up and care for one another. Many people are working to guide and lead our community through this difficult time and because of their efforts and the resilient determination of our residents and great local businesses, I am confident we will not only get through today's difficulties but will do so by emerging even stronger and better prepared to face the next challenge!
Stay safe and God Bless,
Sheriff David Groves