Tuesday, March 06, 2007
Covering a catastrophe
There’s a saying in professional sports: “The great ones play hurt.” Today, I’m borrowing that sentiment to paraphrase it for I-Reporters.

When tornadoes swept across the South and Midwest last week, killing 20 people, they were there. Lauren Aylworth, 16, was in the Science hall at Enterprise High School in Alabama when a tornado damaged the building, killing 8 of her classmates. Shaken and grieving, she still wanted to share her story with us and wanted the world to see the destruction to her school. She sent us a photo of what was left of the hall where she and many of her classmates survived the storm.

When downed trees and power lines made roads impassible and dangerous, I-Reporter Erica Riggs put on her walking shoes to give us a glimpse of the devastation. Sumter Regional Hospital in Americus, Georgia, was hit hard by the storms. Riggs walked a little less than a mile to get to it, but then she was turned back by police because of the many biohazards from the hospital that had been scattered by the fierce winds.
Riveting images of destruction are a longtime staple of news. When calamity happens to strangers, readers are a little more detached. But when it happens to your friends and neighbors, the sense of loss hits home. I-Reporters captured that sense of loss with their photos.
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