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OUR VIEW: Our thoughts are with our Newnan neighbors

Last Thursday, our newsroom spent the day tracking strong storms in Alabama, which produced numerous long-track tornadoes that did a lot of damage.

Many people lost their homes and are left picking up the pieces. Aside from an early afternoon storm, it appeared most of the worst of the weather would stay to our west. But, as you all know, around midnight, a strong tornado touched down in Newnan, causing extensive damage. In the days since, the National Weather Service has determined the Newnan twister was an EF-4 tornado, the strongest of all the storms that day, Alabama’s tornadoes included.

Teams from LaGrange and Troup County immediately were called to action to assist Newnan in any way possible.

People want to help, especially here in Troup County. In general, people here are extremely giving, and when disaster strikes, they want to be there in some form or fashion to help pick up the pieces. We believe most people are generous like this, but we’re not sure you can find the sort of “drop everything” attitude you find in Troup County just anywhere else. We’d venture to guess that you can’t.

City and county officials, as well as the actual workers, deserve a lot of credit for putting their regular duties aside to scramble up to Coweta County to help a neighbor in need.

We know that all of us love the short drive up to Newnan to spend a few hours every now and then. It’s a great city to shop, eat and spend a day out of LaGrange, and our thoughts are with everybody impacted by last week’s storms.

Our thoughts remain with Newnan as people there continue to work on recovery efforts.

But it’d also be foolish not to mention that what happened in Newnan could’ve easily happened here instead. If the storm had traveled even a few miles to the south, it would’ve crossed into Troup County.

The timing could not have been worse either, considering it was around midnight when the worst of the weather impacted Newnan. With that in mind, we hope you’ll reconsider how you’re getting severe weather warnings, especially in the middle of the night.

Are you set up to receive emergency alerts on your phone? Do you have a weather radio? Where in your home will you go if a tornado warning is declared for Troup County?

Making a plan ahead of time saves lives. We know that many prefer to always sleep through bad weather and hope for the best — or ignore it and hope it isn’t too bad — but we hope you’ll choose to plan instead.

It’s severe weather season, and we’re sure more storms are on the horizon. Make sure your family has a plan.