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Take the weather seriously

The images that flashed across television screens and circulated on social media depicted destruction.

Towering trees were uprooted. Houses were hollowed. A basketball arena resembled a pond.

On Monday, severe weather passed through the state of Alabama. It left its mark.

The setting of the aforementioned scene is about two hours north, in the college town of Jacksonville. As evening turned to night, high winds and driving rain pushed through the campus of Jacksonville State University. A tornado touched down, too.

It ripped off roofs and overpowered power lines, transforming a picturesque landscape into a minefield.

Jacksonville State has canceled classes until April 2 as administration assesses the full scope of the damage. Then, a lengthy rebuilding process will likely begin.

If there is a silver lining to the situation, however, it is that university students were on spring break when the storm tore through. The absence of many mitigated the extent of potential human harm.

Every spring brings similar severe weather to our region. Sometimes it threatens. Other times it strikes. There is no way to know until possibility becomes reality.

That is why it’s important to proceed with prudence when inclement weather appears in the forecast. Listen to meteorologists; heed their advice.

Many folks in the Greater Valley Area did on Monday. All high schools, for example, canceled their afternoon and evening athletic events as a precautionary measure.

It was a wise decision. Although the Valley mainly experienced light rain and low winds, safety must remain a priority.

The weather is too unpredictable to take a chance.

Had Monday’s storm followed a different path, Chambers County could have been the recipient of its wrath.