The last time the creeks and rivers spilled over their banks in Salem (1996), folks in our neighborhood were out and about walking and talking--especially to the police officer keeping watch near the group of houses threatening to slide down beside Heath St. I remember run-off from the hillside above our house rushing through our front and back yards. I happened to walk outside in time to rescue a neighbor's small Koi, who had been displaced by the moving water.
In 1996, Twitter and my electronic connection to local Salemites didn't exist. Except for observing what was happening to our neighbors, I didn't have that knowledge of what local individuals were going through and how others were helping.
Twitter has changed that. This time around I'm watching and reading how people are reaching out to those who are knee deep in the water--and (more importantly) who is knee deep. This new method of receiving information is both anxiety producing and heart warming.
Now that I'm sitting here typing this, I can see the clean, efficient beauty of social media in a situation like this. Connecting people, illuminating needs with the ability to instantly respond.