Saturday, May 7, 2011

Tornado comes too close!

Our survivor's guilt is only offset a teeny bit by not having electricity for several days and no internet for 10 days after a tornado passed by too close for comfort on Wednesday evening, April 27, 2011.  Many homes were destroyed only a few hundred metres from our house and several lost their lives.  Clean-up will be ongoing for months, I'm sure.  Pictures will help give an idea of the devastation but of course, only being here will truly impress one with the total change in landscape of this area.

Only C and I were at home when the tornado came by.  We heard the "roar" right as we lost power.  I brushed it off as a train although there was no usual whistle of the horn but we did hurry down into the basement.  Only later that night did we find out that an EF4 had passed through our area when S phoned from the countryside somewhere where he and a friend had been trying to get home.  All the roads were blocked with trees as they tried this one and that one, and he eventually had to just give up trying and walked the last two miles (about 4 km) home, getting home around 12:30am.  He was visibly shaken by the total destruction he saw and by how close he came to dying when his head brushed an overhead electric wire in the darkness.  Fortunately it wasn't live!! Whew!

On Blair Road - this used to be a thick forest

The roof of County Line grocery store

What's left of County Line grocery

Taking stock the morning after

No more house

Morning after.  This house is lucky to be there.

What's left of the Lake's house

Lots of firewood

Debris everywhere.  Apison Pike

Wires strewn everywhere

Someone's barn flattened.  We live just over this ridge.

Collecting belongings

Alabama road

In shock morning after

What do we have left?

Next door to the previous family is this upside-down mobile home.  No fatalities!

Miracle survivors - some animals - a horse, donkey and some goats

Metal roofing and siding wrapped around trees like candy wrappers.

This one and another horse didn't make it.  They're about 1/2 a mile from home.

On McGhee Rd

McGhee road.  This was a "mansion" house.  In the tornado's direct path, no economic class was spared.

This was a house next door to the previous photo.  All survived!

A house collapsed on itself on Lead Mine Valley Rd

There is a lot of roofing work to be done.

Only the roof.  I couldn't see where the house was.

This family had just spent over a year working on their nice wooden fence.....

One can see the electric pylons bent like soft candles.  The houses in this subdivision mostly only suffered from roof damage, thankfully.

Clean-up begins

Painted on the house is: "God spared us".

Clean-up a week later on the flat-smashed McGhee Rd house

A triumphant declaration!

Corner of Klonts and Apison Pike.  I promise you, you will NOT know where you are when you drive here for the first time afterwards.  It looks like a bomb went off.

Well folk, that's my little show for now.  I have a video on YouTube showing much the same as above with a little video mixed in.  Actually, I'm having a little trouble posting to youtube so we'll see......keep checking!

Here's the link: Tornado damage in Apison

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