Tornado– Up Close and Personal
Our neighborhood looked like a junk yard, with trees and branches strewn about, splinters poking up at odd angles. stones and leaves and underbrush underfoot and across the roads. These are just a few of the hundred photos I took, all on and around our property:
Electrical power lines that had fallen still lay mangled where they fell. The ground bore tire prints of a bulldozer that had entered and retreated, entered and retreated. Huge cylinders of tree trunks that had already been cut lay next to each other, moved just off the road so that cars could pass. The scent of raw wood hung everywhere.
Our property suffered less damage than the dozen other properties along our little penninsula. An immense oak tree had fallen on our deck, the deck my father built eighteen years ago. Another tree dug into the edge of the garage roof. Our pier was intact and only our boat cover was damaged. The second picture (of the house) was taken from the pier.
Most of our neighbors had trees through roofs, boats overturned or missing, and/or piers ripped out of the shore.
Some people had been sleeping when the trees fell on their houses, and they slept through it! Some people had awakened, terrified, and listened to trees falling around them. The sound was like “a barrage of gunshots.”
After we got over the shock, Mom and I worked like donkeys, raking and gathering debris and scattering it deep into the woods. Then, we ran around the city getting estimates for tree removal, deck reconstruction, and boat cover replacement.
The work took three full days. Between teardrops and sore muscles, we gave thanks to Allah for the blessings He’d given us all these years– the lovely summer days, the family gatherings, the friends and relatives who’d shared it all with us, and the hope of more such blessings.
The landscape has been profoundly altered, and cannot be restored except by time and nature. Still, much beauty remains: