Friday, December 31, 2010
TORNADO WARNING TAKE COVER NOW
The highway sign flashed TORNADO WARNING and the CB said to take cover NOW. We were in the thick of it, driving on the highway in torrential rain as wiper blades lost their battle, allowing us to catch only a hint of red tail lights in front of us. We slowed to a 20 mph crawl but some drivers pulled onto the shoulder, sitting ducks for anyone who might find themselves outside the lanes which were no longer distinguishable. We almost decided to turn around and return home but thought we could make it a few more miles to the next little town and my fabric store. There seems to be a reason for everything. What would have made us decide to continue on in this rain when we could have easily been home in eight miles?
We stopped for lunch in a little family owned café with home cooking and portions large enough for two or three people. Of course, my phone rings- I hate when that happens but I always forget to turn off the ringer. My daughter is on the line making sure we are OK. The television has just reported that the tornado touched down by our house so I go out in the rain to check on my in-laws who live next door but there is no answer. No answer either when I call my neighbor who is never farther than arms reach from his really cool IPhone. Now I’m a little concerned but odds are in our favor.
The ladies in the fabric shop passed along the location of the tornado - Hwy O and N, right down the street from us, and the damage is extensive. It is our route home but the roads are closed so we will have to detour. Not only that, but our entire area has been severely damaged by several tornados and flat line winds. Major roads are closed, houses flattened, businesses destroyed, cars overturned, power poles actually snapped in half leaving the lines intact but dangling over major thoroughfares like a canopy. There are injuries and a at this point three deaths reported.
My house is ok. Could it be due to blessed packets placed on the four corners of the property line? This is not the first time we have seen storms literally split around us. The neighbors on our street are safe but some others are not so lucky. The path was about 100 ft wide and 75% of the homes are damaged or destroyed. It passed by the back of our Catholic church, damaging a little home nearby. The members of the little Baptist church worked so long and hard to raise enough money to build but it is one of the casualties.
I will go back to my original question, why would we have decided against returning home? Things happen for a reason. As it turns out, had we turned around it would have placed us at the exact point of impact.
If you are reading this please take a minute to offer prayers for those who are affected by these tornadoes.
I hope you all have a safe and happy New Year.