Thursday, December 2, 2010

Our Tornado Miracle

I apologize for the long post. You can scroll down to pictures if you'd like. It has been a chaotic Tuesday afternoon, evening, and Wednesday for us. If you aren't in the Georgia area then you might not know what has transpired the last few days. We had a F-2 Tornado go through our subdivision at approx 3:40pm on Tuesday. I got word from our friend Dana who works with someone who was trying to drive down the road outside our entrance. She was explaining where this tornado was and Dana said that she knew we lived in that subdivision. She called me at about 4:15pm to break the news to me. I was suppose to meet her for dinner that night and we had planned to meet at my house before we went to make sure it was okay. This was way before I really knew how bad it was. She said it was just in the beginning so she was sure my house and doggie were fine. Well of course I ran out of work and had my sister checking the traffic and internet for information. I called David who was working 4 hours away and he immediately got in the car to come back home (more on how great he is later). Well I am trying to call all my immediate neighbors that I know to make sure they are okay and that my house and dog are okay. I finally get in touch with them and 1 just thought it was a huge lightning and thunder storm and our power was out. The other neighbor knew what was going on and she was trying to get her kids that were at school for a concert. She had told me that they weren't letting residents drive in and we had to walk from the entrance all the way in. Well we live in the back and its probably a 1.5-2 mile walk and it was POURING down rain. So I sat in 1.5 hours of traffic just on the street before our house and I was in a panic because I needed gas (I NEVER let it get this low and of course it was raining bad that morning and I didn't want to stop). I was trying to get close so I could see if I could get in. I had my neighbor get my spare key and check on the house and Molly. She said she was just fine and so was the house. David wanted me to just meet with Dana and have dinner and wait for him to get there. So we finally made it to the restaurant and basically drank our dinner as we were in shock/panic for a while. We finished up and couldn't wait for David so we headed over and walked through the mud and rain to get to the house. It was PITCH black and surreal as we walked in. It looked like a disaster zone with a million police cars, news crews and red cross type organizations. They were nice to keep asking if we had a place to stay, but not 1 offered us a ride to our house. As I'm walking in to look, I see the 3rd or 4th house in that all you can see is their living room. The room and side of their house is gone. I start panicking that this is way worse than I thought. They allowed roofers from many companies to come in with HUGE tarps and start covering everyones roof that was damaged since it was still pouring out. As we walk by the pool and middle area, it isn't that bad. We can't see much, but by the lack of activity we know that these peoples houses are okay. We've obviously seen too many movies, because all we can think of is Zombie land and when the zombies are going to come out to get us. We then get to the area where the worst damage is. It is just past the street I live on. So we make our way down there and just can't belive what we see. It is unreal to believe that no one was hurt. The house that was leveled and is now destroyed, no one was home thank god. We get to Molly and she is doing great. She eats dinner for me and starts playing with her toys to show off so I know she is okay. We lit candles and I packed our bags to stay with Dana and David for the night. David makes it to us a little while after and we started our journey out. It was still raining but not as bad. We went back the next day to look at all the damage and its nuts. I am blown away though by all the volunteers that were helping. There was the Red Cross giving meals, firewood, and water, home depot, salvation army, a million roofing companies, churches, rescue dogs, GEMA, police, fire, ambulances, and news galore. It's nice to see everyone coming together to help our little community. We finally got power and gas around dinner time yesterday. Life is back to normal for us, but its hard to go outside down the street to see other people and know that things are definitely not normal for them. It's surreal that it happened a few steps away and our little street was one of the only ones that had no damage at all. We knew a few of the affected people personally and they have been given temporary housing and are okay.

Let's start with the photos. Here is a video I found on youtube of someone in the beginning of the neighborhood who came outside with a video camera right after it happened. It is so eery to me. It is quiet, dark, but the rain stopped temporarily. You can see the first cops arrive on the scene and every ones reaction.

As we were driving the next day I started snapping photos.
This house is the one where you can now see directly into their living room. She ran into the closet that we all have under our stairwell for safety.
As we kept driving you can see all the huge tarps that they used to cover peoples houses.
This is the part of the major damage, just beyond that last house you can see. The news crew and police had it taped off so you can't drive down there.
Here is the view as we went walking down the road.
It is absolutely insane to see someones house basically inside out. There was also a small miracle here as well. There was a dog that was missing from this house and they could not find it the day before. The family returned the next day to try to find the dog. They got there and started hearing her whimpering. They had workers help lift a bedroom wall and out came the dog! She was happy and looked just fine!

This house was across the street from the one that was leveled. The mom and 2 kids were home and fine when this happened.
More damage
They even had helicopters landing in our pool parking lot! I want to take the time to thank everyone who called, texted, sent me message during all of this. My sister and family were great to keep me informed even though my Mom was freaking out and telling me to move home the whole time. Thanks to Davids parents for feeding us dinner and letting us spend the day there yesterday. I also want to thank Dana who was great and kept me informed, had dinner with me, went with me to my house in the rain (and tripped on the way back injuring her hand!) let us stay with them that night and took us to breakfast. And last but not least, my loving husband who drove hours to come make sure I was okay and help me get through all this. I couldn't ask for a better husband. The last video is just from the helicopter to show you an aerial view. Sorry about the advertisements.
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Jayme said...

So glad you hear you and your family and your house are safe. What a crazy storm. I agree that it's amazing to see everyone come out to help each other in times of need like this. Sending some hopeful thoughts and prayers to your community for a fast recovery.

leah said...

I am so thankful that you, David and Molly are okay!! I just can't believe all these pictures. Thank heavens no one was hurt!

Lacey said...

Wow I still can't believe a tornado hit your neighborhood, so scary that in an instant so much damage could happen. I'm thankful your house is okay and Molly was fine! I'm glad everyone is coming together to help in your community and no one was injured! I'll keep everyone affected in my thoughts and prayers.

Mrs. Werginz said...

I am so glad y'all are ok! I have been watching the news abotu that. WOW...that was your neighborhood!

Jen said...
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Mock family said...

that all is just SOO crazy!! I still can't believe it, so I know you all can't either. Help out where ya can! and you are welcome for calling and txting you every 2 seconds for an update :)

DudeMan135 said...

That is still crazy to see that much damage even after seeing it all day glad all is well with you guys and that no one was injured and that that dog was found in the rubble! Just goes to show you how life can change in the blink of an eye.

Betty said...

Wow..what a crazy storm! Glad you, your family, and house are ok!

the girl in the red shoes said...

Jen...I am so behind on blog reading and had no idea this happened! So sorry! But I am so glad that your house and dog are okay! What a miracle! And so amazing that no one was hurt!

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