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Thursday, July 20, 2006

Last Night's Storm

A big storm passed through St. Louis last night and knocked out the power for 450.000 households. The storm knocked down trees, branches and buildings, and broke water lines. A boil order was issued for counties north of I-70. At the same time an excessive heat warning remains in effect until 7 pm tonight. Afternoon highs from 100 to 105 and afternoon heat index readings from 115 to 120.

I suddenly realized how much we depend on electricity and clean water. No lights, no baby monitors, no television, no radios, no computers, no internet access, no phones, no air conditioning, no fans, no refrigerators, no freezers, no coffee grinders. What a nightmare, I thought. But then it became painfully clear to me how lucky we are. We will lack acess to electricity and clean drinking water for 2 - 3 days at most. But more than 1 billion of the world's people permanently lack access to clean water and more than 2 billion permanently lack acess to electricity. Let us keep things in perspective.

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