Time to rush to Florida’s aid

Florida’s panhandle has been hit by what Gov. Rick Scott describes as “an absolute monster” of a hurricane. The full extent of the devastation and loss of life remains to be determined.

Our state needs to provide whatever help is within our power. Because Florida is a haven for retirees, it is likely that some of those hit hardest by Hurricane Michael lived formerly in our state.

Besides, all Floridians are our neighbors, simply because that is how we Americans tend to view things in time of disaster.

Even as the storm’s 155-mph winds and the storm surge were wiping entire rows of houses out, Scott asked for help through an emergency assistance compact with other states. It is known he requested helicopters from New York, Ohio, Maryland and Kansas, among other states. We trust they are on their way already or, perhaps, have arrived.

By one measure (barometric pressure inside the storm), Michael was the third most powerful hurricane ever to hit the U.S. mainland. Based on wind speed, it was the fourth worst.

We tell our children during this Halloween season that there are no real monsters. But there are. One just hit Florida.

Again, these are our neighbors. Rest assured that in a time of great trial, they would help us.

Officials in our state need to help them — as quickly as possible.