In January, when a historic ice storm cracked the entire city and 300,000 people lost power for as long as nine days, Kansas Citians got their own little version of the sort of nationwide outpouring we'd seen a few months earlier in New York City. Though our disaster was nothing like New York's, there was something sweetly comforting about out-of-town utility crews arriving from all over the region. The mood was ultimately reflected in a shovelful of letters to the editor printed in the Star on February 8: "I actually cried when I saw the trucks lined up on the news," one person wrote. "A crew from Houston showed up and took over. They were polite and professional," wrote another. One writer's family "made them some refreshments and hot coffee and offered kind words." Over and over, the messages were, "These hard workers deserve our thanks for working out in the awful weather at all hours of the night" and "Hats off to our public-utility heroes!" God bless the U.S.A.