Saturday, October 27, 2012

The July tornado

4th of July week is "family week" at the cabin.  Blaine's sisters' families and his mom and our whole crew head up north and spend the week swimming, fishing, playing cards and eating!  It is a blast:)  We look forward to it every year.  

Katie and her Aunt Jenny share July 2nd as their birthday.  This year Joani made her famous chocolate cake and Blaine and I made homemade ice cream.  We knew a storm was coming and it looked like a bad one but we were going to enjoy our ice cream on the screen porch while Auntie Laura read a book to all the kids.  It wasn't raining or windy.  There was no thunder or lightening.  

I was sitting in the far back corner of the porch with the kids sitting all around me.  It was then that we heard the wind.  It was coming from behind me.  I asked the kids, "Did you hear that??"  They did.  I kept reading.  A couple seconds later I said, "That's bad you guys.  Let's get inside now!"

They say it sounds like a freight train coming.  That may be but I have no experience with freight trains.  I would describe the sound as a jet airplane.  A very eerie sound like nothing I have ever heard come from nature.

At the same time Blaine was getting in the shower.  The power went out and he got out of the shower to see lamps and items in the bedroom flying around.  He yelled to everyone to get downstairs!

We were already on our way.  I don't believe we made it through the living room, through the dining room and down the stairs before it hit.  And we were running!  

Once we got downstairs, Blaine asked if everyone was accounted for.  Someone said, "Yes," but that wasn't true.  Katie and De were missing.

They were also out on the porch eating ice cream and decided they'd better run over to the cabin they were staying in next door and close the windows to keep the rain out.  So they did and were in that little cabin with no foundation when the tornado hit and all the trees fell.

All these pictures were taken the next morning.  It was getting dark when the storm it....around 8:30 or later.  Katie was very afraid and they made the decision to run back to the house we were in since it had a basement.  By this time (all happened in minutes) the worst was past but it was raining and still windy.  Katie and De literally rain over the tops of fallen trees to get back.  The little cabin they were staying in (above) is the one with the green peak on the roof.  They ran over those trees which were maybe 9 feet tall (once fallen) to get to us.

Thank God they made it safely!!  It really is a miracle they did and that a tree, limb or debris didn't fall on them.  Click on the pic above to see.  She told me that she thought she was going to die on her birthday that day.  :(

 The trailer we'd brought bikes up on was now up on Jenny's car and the power line was also down, the pole snapped in half.

 The view to the right down the road.  Blaine and De cleared the entire way with their chain saws all the way to the main road.  I love men like this.  They get it done!

 The view to the right...much worse.  They let the county clean this part up.
 Katie and De's car parked in front of their cabin.  Looks bad but barely a scratch:)

 The new view of the hillside.  I honestly never knew there was a house on top of the hill so close.  There were huge mature pines completely covering the hillside.  The tornado took them all.  We lost 75 trees on the property.

Debris from the storm.  Click on this (above) picture to enlarge to see one of the wicker chairs that was sitting in the porch now resting by the little pump house.  It flew through the screen and landed there!  And it's heavy!

Thanks be to God for prompting me to get the kids out of the porch and down the stairs.  I am not normally the person to be alarmed during a storm.  I thought it would be cool to sit outside in the porch and read and eat ice cream during a thunder storm.  I'm thankful I didn't stand my ground and stay a second longer.  The kids would have been severely hurt or killed.  After all, look where the wind took that heavy chair.

The next day the clean up began.  Gene, Blake and Wayne, who had left for home previously for work came back up and for seven morning till night days they worked until all the trees were taken down and chipped.  They yard was raked and repairs were made.  A little garage had to be taken down due to damage.  Power was out for 5 days and it was HOT!  Water came from the lake, cooking was done with the help of a generator and grill.  Toilets were flushed with buckets of lake water and showers were taken in the lake..The refrigerator stayed on thanks to the generator.

We were so thankful that no one was hurt and that there was very little damage done to the main house.
We were also so thankful that so many friends came up to lend a hand with the clean up.

Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think we'd be in the direct path of a tornado.  I mean...really??  In the grand scheme of things and all we've been through as a family, it seems weird to say that being in the direct path of a tornado is on the minor end of things.  No one lost their life and no one was badly hurt. Funny how our perspective has changed, huh?

We're just thankful.

1 comment:

  1. “Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think we'd be in the direct path of a tornado.” - Yes, there are circumstances you'll never ever expect until they happen right before your eyes. Forces of nature such as tornadoes are unpredictable. Thus, it's important to be alert and take precautionary actions for unforeseen disasters like having safety room to run into in case something bad came up.

    Edwina Sybert