After spending a day frequently hiding in a closet from tornadoes, the dawn of the next day brought with it reports on a battery-operated/crank radio of massive damage and additional loss of life. (See previous post for details).
An inspection of the outside of our house and yard was our first heartbreaking discovery. There was fiber glass insulation all over the roof and yard, pieces of veneered doors, pieces of plastic, and pieces of paper. It was the paper that made the biggest impact: Christmas card pieces, calender pieces, receipts, and a tax return page. All of it was part of other people’s property that had been picked up in the horrible storms and deposited at our house.
The addresses on some of the papers let us know that they were from over 80 miles away.
My husband and I decided we had better seek dry ice to keep our nearly full freezer from thawing out in the days ahead that would be without electricity. I suggested that as reports had damage to our east, west and north, we had better try to head south. My husband knew of trees across a road near our home, so we decided to take a road off to the right. We had no idea as we turned that an EF-3 tornado had passed right across/along the road.
Thankfully, there were individuals and county crews already out on the road clearing a path with chainsaws. As we weaved our way through the downed trees and wires, it was even more apparent just how blessed we truly were…we were less than a mile from our house.
It took several hours to located a store with dry ice, but we eventually found it about 100 miles south. We would buy dry ice two more times before our electricity was restored more than eight days later. Luckily, a local store was able to get and maintain a nice supply.
It has been more than three months now since the day the tornadoes struck our area. Unfortunately, other areas have been devastated by tornadoes since then.
In a somewhat ironic twist, we escaped the tornadoes without much wind damage only to have straight line winds remove parts of our roof and topple trees in our yard a few weeks later…. (We are still much luckier than some of our neighbors who lost the upper part of their house to those same straight line winds).
The area is still recovering. Tarps can still be seen on many roofs. Some buildings have been demolished. Other buildings have been repaired. Many lives have been forever changed. Many people still mourn for the lives that were lost.
We have been doing some research to hopefully return the tax return page that landed in our yard to its owners. I think we are supposed to connect with them. Why? Well, the page is from people who lived in another state and more than 80 miles away on a road with the same unusual name as our road. It appears that the parents of one of the owners was killed by the tornado that day…they lived on the road of the same name also. I don’t think it is just coincidence that the page landed in our yard…I think it was God’s intervention that brought it to us. If nothing else, it is a stark reminder of how Blessed we are…