?We knew it was bad. When the storms started we watched each cell form. Thankfully we live up in the mountains in a valley and that protected us. The hail they showed falling outside the TV station, as well as other reports, ranged in size from pea to spiked baseball. The lightning strike counter got as high as the thousands as well. The more we watched it, the more we worried for friends and family in its path. Each wave that passed seemed to gain strength and if we looked toward the mountain range blocking us from town we could see the masses of black clouds piling up. We were not hit by any of the tornadoes but I had friends who were very close. And they had friends who suffered some terrible losses.
??It is so hard to believe all the devastation. There are 68 reported dead so far, just in our area – not even other places in TN. The devastation was so bad it took out the stop lights and the neighborhoods adjacent to the road we travel all the time. Places we drive by all the time. These people have lost everything. The homes are still burning, covered in trees (so much so you cannot see the homes underneath the mess), the rescue crews are still recovering bodies from the destruction as well as removing masses of downed trees and debris just to get to some of these places.
|Photo by: Braska Givens
I have never been prouder though of my husband and my step-sons. They volunteered without hesitation to lend a hand. I don’t know many teenagers who involve themselves in situations like that, mine even called their friends to try to round up more helpful hands.? All the crews were surprised to see them show up from an adjoining county – but we don’t see lines, just people who need our help. Looks like it will take many days and a lot of work to put a dent in the devastation. My husband got information straight from the power guys and they said it will be five days to a week before the power is restored to these neighborhoods.
My husband and his sons took a few pictures of the work they were helping with. There is even a picture of a fridge and sink in the lot across the street from one of the homes that was completely destroyed…..the pictures can tell better than I. For I find that words escape me at the moment. This isn’t a usual happening for us, in fact the closest they can compare it to is “the blizzard of ’93”. Ask anyone around here and they will launch into the tale…
This stunned even them. And the crews were so happy to see everyone show up to help, even with all hands on deck it will take up to a week to get everything cleaned up, and even longer than that to rebuild and smooth the scars left as the tornadoes tore through the lives of everyone in the area, in one way or another. Please seek out ways to help. Care packages, money or lend a hand if you are in the area. We need it. They need it.