Monday, August 29, 2016

Several tornadoes hit our town

It is with grief, and gratitude that I write this post.
Grief for the many people in Kokomo that have lost their homes. 
Gratitude that all of the damage you will see in these pictures, are just of trees, it could have easily been our home, our cars, or us.

Kokomo had several tornadoes last Wednesday.

Dave and I were out of town, and my phone started beeping.
Friends texting....
Were you at Starbucks?
Did you hear Starbucks was flattened?
Mom texted, "we are ok."
Then a friend texted, did you hear a tornado went through Kokomo.  Several people were in Starbucks at the Mall.  They made them all get in the bathroom.  Starbucks was flattened but they survived.  I told Dave and we headed home.

Then this was sent to me as we were driving home.

While we were driving home, about twenty minutes away, another warning was going off on the radio, and this time the tornado was coming right to our home.   As Dave was driving he told me to keep an eye out west for the tornado.  We saw emergency vehicles with people standing outside looking in the air.

We got home, I grabbed the dog and headed  to the basement, and Dave went to the porch to see if he could see anything.  I was watching the tornado on TV in the basement and they said it was coming to Cassville.  That's our area.  I heard Dave running down the stairs and I knew it was here.

He opened the outside basement door and could barely get it closed.  (I've yet to ask him why he did that!)  Then he said, "we need to get in the bathroom."  I was very afraid.
The lights started blinking, the power went out, and five minutes later it was over. 
We went outside to this....
See why I'm grateful?  This is a limb from a huge tree in our front yard.  It missed our house.
More pictures from around our house.

Dave was standing here, checking the sky, five minutes before it hit.   
Below is right outside our kitchen window.  We had just finished a nature garden area. 

The pole below had a rather nice size bird feeder on it that we found in our side yard.

And the neighbor came over with his tractor and moved my "bird girl" statue the day before the tornado hit, and look and she is still standing.
Below is the rootball from a tree that was uprooted right on the inside of our woods.
  I'm standing in the same spot where I took both of these pictures.
And this is from our back door.  You can see how close the woods is from where we park our cars.
So you can see how fortunate we were..  These huge trees were this close to our house, all the way around, and we were spared.
This is in the path through the woods from our house....

To Coral Belle.  And she is just fine!
  This was a tree limb that fell across our driveway.
And our neighbor has a backhoe and came over right after the storm, in the rain, and started moving limbs out of peoples driveways. 
You can see the path the tornado took through our woods right across the road.

Large trees snapped in two or bent double.
 This was the view from the West side of our woods where the tornado went through.  Of course, power lines were down everywhere, and we couldn't get beyond the trees in the road.

The tornado came out from our woods, went over our pond and took some trees around our pond with it, then went back in our woods on the other side of the pond. 
 These are the roads east and west of our house, right after the storm.
Of course, the trees took the power lines down.  But peeps, we were only without power for a day.  One day.   

And our neighbors with backhoes, came over and cleared what they could. 
Working together.

After the tornado went through, and the rain stopped, a neighbor came over and started on our trees with a chain saw....
the next day another neighbor came over with a chain saw,
and another with a back hoe that he borrowed from his son. 
 On Friday a friend came over and we all raked for about four hours.  We are exhausted, but our front yard is back in order.
 Yesterday my cousin Vickie and her husband came over and the men worked all afternoon and Vickie and I cleaned up the patio and driveway.  Debris is just everywhere.  And it has rained every day since the tornado.  And every time the wind blows more debris comes down.
We still have a mess to clean up.  Like Vickie said, pictures are one thing...but when you see it, you realize.  I realize we were lucky.  We are tired (exhausted) but we have a home.

Any time I talk to my friends, we are all grief stricken.  There are so many without homes.  It seems everyone knows someone without a home now. Our town has set up a shelter and it's FULL.  Peoples pets are being housed in cages at a temporary place set up by Red Cross.  There is a place set up for all of the donations and it looks very organized.  Like a store.    Two high school football teams (Kokomo and Hamilton Heights) were suppose to play each other at Lucas Oil Stadium Friday evening.  Instead of having the game, the two teams worked together that day, in the hardest hit area of our town.  They were honored at the Colts football game.  There have been volunteers from other areas, neighboring towns, helping us out.  I get a lump in my throat just talking about it. 

I've only been in town once since this happened.  Out of respect for the people who have lost everything, I did not take any pictures.  You can see it on the news. 

I just hope everyone knows how much their help is appreciated, at our house, and in our town.