Notes from Jackson Street: Newnan unites following tornado


By CORBY CARLIN WINTERS, Winters Media & Publishing Vice President

In 2020, our nation and world faced the COVID-19 pandemic. Friends and family broke apart over political views and ideology. There was loss and grief, and long-term repercussions still lingering from both of the above issues. Many took a hard stance on the left or right … sadly, there seemed to be no common ground.

Anxiety, loneliness, anger and trouble seemed to be everywhere you looked. Suicide, depression and addiction numbers rose to new levels not seen before, hitting the old and young alike.

And just as we started to get our footing back with COVID vaccines, Coweta County faced another trial. The March 26 EF-4 tornado tore a wide swath through the county, destroying 75 homes and seriously damaging more than 100 and impacting over 1,500 overall.

Once again Newnan and the county faced a disaster – this time the weather.

It seems that everywhere you turn there is heartache and trouble. However, beauty does come out of ashes. But just as John Winters and I have personally seen, dreams sometimes turn to ashes right in front of our eyes. Yet, we have seen other dreams arise out of the ashes and that God’s grace abounds.

And out of the ashes from the tornado, beautiful things happened across our hometown. Our community has united like never before. Chainsaws were drawn like swords, trucks and citizens rallied like an army, and people came side by side to aid total strangers.  It reminds me of a scene from The Lord of Rings trilogy, “the beacons of Minas Tirith are lit. Gondor calls for aid.” The beacons were lit across our community, Newnan called for aid and hope was rekindled.

I believe there is more unity and compassion than ever before. Families are being reunited, help has arrived in the form of bulldozers and heavy machinery capable of picking 100-year-trunks fallen to the side to clear streets and homes.

People continue to rise to the occasion – donating food, helping make face masks. We are seeing more generosity, grace and love than we have in quite a while. In our community, we are more concerned about asking how we can help rather than worrying about the color of one’s skin or their political views. And that my friends is a great thing.

If we have learned anything this year I believe most realize we were built for relationships and that isolation and even the simple lack of human touch is not healthy nor normal.  We need each other. And the tornado showed the best traits of the people of this community.

Indeed, hope has been rekindled …

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