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The skies were bright and sunny in the early afternoon hours of Aug. 10.

Throughout the morning, weather alerts from the National Weather Service pointed to bad weather heading toward the Gateway area later that day.

A thunderstorm, some wind, maybe? But then it hit. A storm unlike anything we’ve seen here.

Now we know that particular storm is a derecho – a type of inland hurricane with sustained winds. The peak windspeed recorded here was 74 miles per hour at the Clinton Municipal Airport; however, visible damage left behind shows winds could have reached up to 130 miles per hour.

Trees were knocked down, others were uprooted. Power lines snapped, power poles tipped over, and electrical service boxes were ripped off homes, leaving thousands without power – some for 10 days or more.

But in the worst of times, this community pulls together.

Free meals were served at The Frontier Again and River Church. Residents and businesses donated money for pizzas that were put out for people who were hungry.

Neighbors with power helped those who did not, sharing freezer space or a place to take a hot shower.

On Saturday, a volunteer community cleanup paired workers with those who needed help clearing storm debris.

It’s times such as this that remind us Clinton is a good community full of people who will reach out to those in need.