Saturday, August 18, 2012

Thoughts the day after the Tornado (8/9/2012)

(*written the morning after the tornado but things got busy and it wasn't completed now).

Laying in the bed this morning in the dark after a restless nights sleep, it was nice to hear some birds finally chirpping as they try to find new homes. It was a nice cool night and morning with our windows open. Shortly after the birds, I could hear chain saws and wood chippers going over the generator that supplied our electricity. Thoughts flooded my head of the events that took place a short 13 hours before. It was odd to look out the front door and see a full view of the neighbors house. The two trees that were there before were cut up and laying an the ground. All my landscaping and flowers were stripped and leaves add a green new paint to everything.

What happened anyways? Some say they saw funnel clouds and rotations, others say 65+mph wind shears.
Photo taken by a friend somewhere off of route 9...

 Around 3:45 on Thursday August 9th, my kids and I went out to pick some tomatos. It was getting dark and started to sprinkle. Brody said he wanted his rain boots. I helped him find them and thought it would be a good "Kodak" moment since he was wearing shorts and a pair of rain boots - no shirt. We saw the neighbor moving some crafting projects inside of his garage to save them from the rain that was on its way. His wife was away to Hobby Lobby getting more wreaths for her craft. We head over there to say hi and have our usually 4pm snack. We grabbed a few lawn chairs and sat in the garage watching the rain. I remember looking up to see the clouds and saying "wow, look at those clouds...they are moving so fast...this will be quick storm". The neighbor then said "look at the neighbor's trampoline...I think it's going to go".

Then the rain picked up and it started hard and fast at an angle that we were getting pelted in the face. And then all of a sudden, the wind gushed through the garage pushing us back. The neighbor yelled "Get in the basement". We rushed to the back door, tried to shut the garage, but it was too late - no electricity. I rushed the kids downstairs with a flash light and the radio. The neighbor said he saw the rotation hit the pavement of his driveway. I went back upstairs and looked out the window and it was already a matter of 5 minutes. Trees uprooted...shingles scattered...leaves and hail plastering houses and littering the yards. I couldn't believe my eyes as I looked outside. I stepped out into his garage with water and hail up to my ankles. Everything was pushed back in the garage and the foundation of the east side of the garage was pushed/bowed out.

I immediately went home and grabbed my camera. I tried several times to get ahold of my husband. Three times we were cut off and all he heard me say was "everything is gone". What I actually said was the trees were all gone. Imagine driving home for 30 minutes thinking your house is gone.

Meanwhile the dog was at the vet. I took him there in the morning to have some teeth cleaning procedure thing in which they had to put him under for. Brock was to pick him up on the way home. Given the circumstances, he had a guy in the office go pick up the dog for us. An hour later, the vet called to tell us that they gave him the wrong dog! Turns out the owner of the other dog lived close to him and walked down to exchange dogs. He brought the dog to town and met my mother in law who picked him up. My poor dog will never want to go to the vet again! Gets put under, wakes up to 2 different owners and his territory as he knew it was completely destroyed.

We had lots of help cutting down things and moving things around. My sister in law and mother in law brought food and drinks. We very well taken care of and supported. Clean up begins or continues. We are so thankful that we were not harmed by this event. It sure felt like a close one when we saw all the damage that happened around us. It sure looks different around our neighborhood. I love seeing all the community support.
Neighbors 80 foot tree that was uprooted and laying on their roof.
View out my garage when I ran to get my camera.  That steam is from the hail and the heat hitting.
Our front yard tree.
 Neighbors trees
One of our back yard trees...view of neighbors.
 Front of house where the tree fell on it.

All last week we continued to make progress.  On Monday, Direct TV came out and replaced our battered dish.  The air unit guy came and cleaned out our air units from debri and fixed the fans that were pelted by hail.

On Tuesday Brock stayed home and took in all our ripped screens from the windows and had all those replaced.  He also put back our broken retaining wall that fell due to heavy trees laying on it.

Brody ran to hug BeBe (the neighbor) who was sad that her trees were being cut down.
 Checking out their new territory
 Watching trees being cut down.
The empty neighbors forrest where the kids use to play.  This was full of trees...they lost 13 50-80 footers!

 The dump pile from our street and the streets around us.  It was at least 40 feet high and 50 feet wide.
We still have to replace our roof and gutters along with a few other things.  It has slowed down a bit and we are hoping for a less busy fall...probably won't have as many leaves and things to prune since everything is wiped out.  No canning for me since my garden is gone! :(  There are still some clean up things to do and we will replace a couple of trees in the fall we hope.  Eventually I'd like to see some before and after pictures...just have to dig around to get some befores.

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