Friday, October 11, 2013
One Week Later...After the Tornado
Friday, October 4th, was a dismal afternoon.
The gray sky hung low promising rain that autumn evening. I was completely oblivious to the threat Mother Nature was stirring up just south of us. The above picture from Siouxland Severe Weather, taken by Aaron Siders, shows the clouds as they brewed behind a veil of rain.
I paid a few bills online, scanned facebook for friends' and family updates on the snowstorm pelting the western part of Nebraska and South Dakota, and surfed a few opinionated online posts about the Government shutdown. I was waiting to pick up my oldest son from school and planned to head into Wayne to run errands. My younger boys and a couple neighbor children played with Lincoln Logs on the floor.
A typical, ho-hum kind of afternoon.
At least, it appeared that way.
With little warning our world was turned upside down within minutes.
A grandmother appeared at my door and informed me that a tornado warning was in effect for the area. A tornado was on the ground barreling towards us. She whisked her grandkids off and I raced the 6 miles to town to get my son who was waiting in the library.
That was one of the longest (and fastest) trips to town that I can remember.
I know that sounds strange, but my heart was pounding and I was concentrating on getting everyone home and nestled in the basement before the storm hit. The constant radio warnings and my cellphone buzzing "extreme weather alert" only heightened the urgency. Then the radio went off the air. I pulled into our drive three minutes before the storm was predicted to be on top of us.
What I didn't know then- Wayne, just a few miles to our south, received the brutal hit. Here is a picture from ABC9 News in Sioux City showing a portion of the devastation:
It was breathtakingly sickening.
Splintered buildings, hurled John Deere implements, tossed airplanes, flattened homes, and cotton fabric flapped in stripped trees.
That part of town was almost unidentifiable.
The tornado leveled a good portion of the eastern side of town. It left a mass of homes, farms, and businesses strewn across Northeast Nebraska. Luckily, no one died. People were injured and hundreds were left unemployed. The storm knocked most of the residents into a stunned state of being.
However, Nebraskans don't stay down for long.
Within minutes, the roads were filled with emergency crews racing to help. Volunteers flooded the town and clean up had begun. People rolled up their sleeves and united as these dark and lightening filled storm clouds rolled away to the northeast.
Because it was the right thing to do.
It's amazing to see the camaraderie and support people from all walks of life have offered to the community. Old and young, rich and poor, Lutheran and Catholic, Republican and Democrat, all working together for one common goal. Shoulder to shoulder. People putting aside differences for the common good.
It's been one week since the EF4 tornado hit Wayne.
Businesses that were wiped out are already back to work in rented offices and machine sheds. Fundraisers are springing up to help those in need. Wayne is rebuilding and forging ahead with dedication and teamwork.
I wish that Washington and America would learn a cooperation lesson from Wayne, America...
Tonight, our thoughts and prayers are lifted for those in need- especially for the communities in South Dakota devastated by the blizzard, my neighbors and friends who were impacted by the tornadoes, and for the people suffering from the Government shutdown.