Garbage will be picked up on schedule Monday May 27th. There is no change.
The playgrounds at Willie Hinton Park and Friendly Park will both be closed for repairs on Thursday, March 28th and Friday, March 29th. Both playgrounds will be back open on Saturday, March 30th. We are sorry for the inconvenience, but these repairs are necessary. Thank you.
The City of Petal will host its annual Easter Egg Hunt Saturday, March 30th 2013 at
Hinton Park. The hunt will start at 10 AM promptly and is for all ages. Make sure
to bring your own baskets and cameras, the Easter Bunny will be there by the
time the hunt is over. For more information, contact 601-554-5440.
The City of Petal has begun clean-up operations for storm debris. We have all of our crews working from sunrise to sunset and they will be working from now until the job is done. Forrest County has contributed a crew to assist, and we will have several private contractors working with us beginning Tuesday. We estimate the process will take three to four weeks, so we ask for your patience and understanding that we face a huge amount of debris throughout the city. You can place your debris in one pile, it does not need to be separated, but please get it as much in the right of way as possible without blocking the streets.
Petal residents forced to transfer their water accounts to new locations due to Sunday’s tornado will not be charged the $25 transfer fee. The Mayor and Board of Aldermen have waived the fee for citizens affected by the storm.
FEMA will be opening a disaster recovery center at the Civic Center in Petal. They will be setting up the site beginning Monday and will be on site through March 30 to assist Petal residents. Storm victims can register for FEMA assistance by calling 1-800-621-FEMA. FEMA personnel will begin going door-to-door today in affected areas. All FEMA personnel will have a photo ID badge.
I have always been proud to be from Petal, but no more so than over the past three days. Sometimes, the worst events bring out the best in a community. That is the case for Petal following the horrific damage brought by Sunday’s tornado. Neighbors who normally don’t have time to speak have come to each other’s aid. Our churches have organized volunteer efforts to go into the affected neighborhoods, offering whatever help is needed. We have the seen a true community spirit come alive.
God’s hand was over so many people on Sunday evening, that is the only way to explain how we did not suffer one lost life. To see homes totally destroyed, as if hit directly by a bomb, and to know that a family was inside at the time, but that all walked away – a miracle is all I can say. We can and will rebuild our city, buildings can be replaced. I am just thankful that no lives were lost, because that is what is irreplaceable.
Our work is just beginning. Over the next few weeks, you will see crews removing debris from the side of roads. Please try to stack the debris as close to the road as possible. FEMA regulations will not allow us to collect debris more than 5 feet from the road. We will undertake this effort as quickly as possible, but due to the volume of debris, we anticipate a three to four week operation.
Also, FEMA is now in our area, but we have not been told when or where they will be setting up for disaster relief information and assistance. As soon as we get that information, we will pass it along via this website or other media.
The bridge at Dry Prong Creek on Corinth Road is now open. Corinth Road is now passable for through traffic.
In the wake of the horrible crime committed last Friday in Newtown, CT, many of us are being forced to realize that no community is immune from unspeakable tragedy. Many are also asking what can be done to prevent something so terrible from happening again, as if another law will somehow fix the depravity of evil minds.
The sad truth is that it can happen anywhere, and there is very little we can do to stop it. If someone is so sick, so twisted, so evil as to wish harm on innocent little children, they certainly are not afraid of going to prison, or even their own death. For all the calls by liberal politicians for more gun control laws, it must be pointed out that Connecticut already has strict gun control laws, as does Chicago, which right now is dealing with a skyrocketing murder rate and violence that is going almost unchecked in many neighborhoods. It seems that having so-called “gun free zones” at schools actually make them more of a target for deranged individuals, who know that it is unlikely that anyone on the campus will be able to fight back before police officers arrive.
I propose a different solution – not perfect, but something that could not be any worse than what we have now, and might actually help minimize the casualties in future mass shootings. The time has come to allow teachers and administrators to arm themselves and carry handguns on school campuses. Why? Because the knowledge that not everyone on a campus will be a helpless victim might – just might – give some potential shooter second thoughts. Even if it does not dissuade those who are intent on doing harm, surely it can not be more harmful to give teachers a way to fight back and protect their students in a way other than hiding in closets in hope the killer does not find them.
I am not saying that all teachers must carry a gun, only that those who are willing to do so, and who prove proficient in handling a firearm, be allowed to carry them on their person. We already have armed police officers on many campuses, but they can not be everywhere, especially in larger schools with many buildings. Nothing is perfect, but the solution is not to disarm more innocent, law-abiding citizens. The answer is to give them permission to protect themselves, and the children we entrust to them each day.
Another solution? Pray for our nation. In fact, that is something we all can do, and need to do every day.