Wednesday, March 07, 2007

I'm alive, but for the Grace of God

In case you've been under a rock or haven't seen the coverage of the mega scary storm that swept through Missouri, Alabama, and Georgia...there was a tornado that touched down in my town. Yeah, it touched about two blocks from my house. There are places that you still can't get into and there are people still without power, water, or houses. Our downtown took a major hit, our hospital is ruined right now, and my fave place to grocery shop is gone, Winn-Dixie. There were people still in Winn-Dixie when it hit. They hid out in the freezer and couldn't be rescued until later that night.
We are really lucky, it killed 8 high school kids in Ala. and we've only heard of 2 confirmed deaths here.
But here en mi casa things are fine. We were without power since about 9 pm Thursday night. I've been hanging out at our house, but we did walk through the damage. I'm going to post pics and explain them, or what you should be seeing instead of the twisted trees and mangled powerlines. I'm just thankful, so very thankful for all that I still have. I have seen so many people who have lost so much, and I just feel terrible for them. So far, they don't want anyone to volunteer, just stay in our homes.
Photobucket - Video and Image HostingThis is the view walking down the street we live on. That big wooden piece on the other side was from a gas company on the left side of the street. They also had a mechanic type shop there and it's now flat. Only the steel frame owning that stood over the woodbuilt building remains.
Photobucket - Video and Image HostingThis is the old school, they just restored this. It used tax money and now it's totally ripped up. Also, notice the thing in the foreground, it looks like a a gazeebo that is now flat and in two places.
In the middle of Elm Ave. the street we live on, this is on the yellow line.Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
We aren't sure if someone stole this car and tried to drive around a downed tree or if this is just REALLY bad luck.Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Walking around the back of the school, we saw this:Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
We walked further, deeper into the destruction, avoiding the cops and the major traffic jams.
This is one of my friend's house. His family still lives there, but I'm not sure if he did. Photobucket - Video and Image HostingI want me one of these houses, the tree broke when it hit the roof, not the other way around. :D At least all that's messed up is the porch.
Down the street from this house we found this:Photobucket - Video and Image HostingOn the right you can see what used to be a lake that was then turned into a park after someone put mercury in the water and comprimised the dam a long time ago. There were trees all over the place, well...there still are, but you know. There is a picnic shelter out there and there are some red swingsets right out of frame. It was really sad.
From there we looked across the street, to the left and saw:Photobucket - Video and Image HostingThis is the back of what used to be Salvation Army, a few shopping centers, an insurance agency, and Aaron's rent a center. There is a deep valley there that seems to have sucked up all the stuff that used to be up on the hills on either side. There also used to be trees, but yeah. Not any more.
Then I looked at these people and thought about what used to be there.Photobucket - Video and Image HostingA house. There are now only a few cinder blocks that served as a foundation left to mark the house. The man in the blue uniform, hard to see, has stuck with me. He just kept looking around, like the longer he stood there, the more of a chance he stood of bringing back the house he lost. When he put his hand over his mouth, I turned away, it was almost too much to see.
After that we walked into the cemetary to get off of the roads and away from the powerlines. We heard one groan and then zing, still hot. So we decided that the cemetary was safter to see from.
All of the memorial cedars were splintered. A number of other trees were down and a number of monuments were destroyed.Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
We managed to get to the main drag, Lamar street, one of the two one ways that is Americus.Photobucket - Video and Image HostingThese are all emergency vehicles coming in to help. They were running lights and sirens. Quite a moving scene.
Walking down Lamar back towards Tripp street we saw these on the sidewalk. It was really sad for some reason.Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
This store is also missing a large part of its side. Like something very large was hurled through the wall. Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
All of our fast food is damaged, windows gone, signs blown away, rooves missing. We turned up Tripp street, back towards home.
This woman lost her business. Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
It was really sad to see her wander around the wreckage. It looks like everything was ruined. If not by the inital storm, then from the heavy rains that followed.
But we're a strong community. We'll rebuild and make it through this. Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting As this WWII (I think??) monument seems to say, "We will survive!"
Please keep Americus and the other cities hit by this storm in your prayers, I know a number of people could use them.


lauriec said...

So incredibly scary. I'm glad you and yours are safe!


Good grief! what destruction! So glad you are alright. What a scary experience. We sat out a tornado in our basement about 6 years ago in Pa. but it was nothing like this!