“Should we head down to the basement?” I asked the question because although our cell phones were blaring a tornado warning, the weather man had just said the National Weather Service had cancelled tornado warnings in the areas around us and I thought maybe it was just a false alarm. As soon as the words left my mouth, though, I heard hail start to hit the roof. “Yep, time to go.” I answered my own question. After putting the chinchilla in her travel carrier and wrangling our two puggles, we headed down the basement stairs.
As we got to the bottom of the stairs, we looked out the basement windows and all we could see was white. Suddenly we were standing in pitch blackness as the power went off and at the same time, all hell was breaking loose outside. Of course we were away from the windows, but we could hear rain and hail pelting down, and then an odd roaring sound. It only lasted a minute or two and then everything got perfectly still.
After a couple of minutes my husband decided to go upstairs and check on everything while I stayed in the basement with the “kids” until we were sure it was over. The wind had somehow blown rain through our french doors all the way across the family room, so he put down some towels for that, then I heard him running through the house.
He came down the stairs and said, “There’s a huge tree on (our neighbors’) house – I have to go check on them!” My mind couldn’t even register what I was hearing at first, but in the following hours and couple of days, it has become very real. We had a tornado come through that stayed on the ground for over 20 miles. Our neighborhood wasn’t a direct hit, but it was definitely in the wind field.
Many of our neighbors have serious damage to their homes and vehicles, including the lovely lady I mentioned in my post last week. On our street alone, we’ve seen three houses and two vehicles with trees on them. It’s almost unbelievable to look at our neighbors’ homes and see the damage, and then see our home and many others in the neighborhood that didn’t suffer any damage at all. We lost some trees and are going to have a couple taken down because they were partially uprooted and are dangerous to leave up, and we have some fence damage, but that’s it. I feel extremely blessed, but I’m heartbroken for our neighbors. If you’re a praying person, I would appreciate your prayers for those who have lost so much.
Even in the midst of all this destruction, we’re seeing the strength and beauty of the human spirit – neighbors helping neighbors, people working together to clear streets where it’s safe to do so, even local businesses supporting those who were affected by providing free meals, drinks, and hygiene items. It’s always amazing and encouraging to see how the worst circumstances can bring out the best in people. It also motivates me to be like those people I admire so much!
NOTE: I know these photos don’t really give you a sense of the scope of the destruction, but out of respect for our neighbors’ privacy, we didn’t take photos of any of their houses or vehicles.