Saturday, February 9, 2008

tornado update

Our power and phone were restored last night, I bow to the hard working utility guys who replaced so much, so quickly, and to everyone who came from from all over to help out. I also really appreciate everyone who sent me good thoughts.

It is difficult to write about my own good fortune, when so many have lost so much. It is redundant to say that the destruction was awesome, in a bad way. Not having power, I didn't see the news coverage, but in real life, I can say that although I have seen tornado destruction numerous times in my life, I have never seen anything like this, so wide and so long.

Tuesday I was in Perry county with Mom, during the day we had seen the radiologist and oncologist and then she and I and Dad spent the evening in the bathroom as the weather radio fired off over and over again as tornados blew over and around us. My brother and his family spent the evening in a cave with their neighbors as tornados blew around them near Centerville Tennessee.

After it all seemed to have passed, we went back to bed, but woke when I got a call from JB, who had driven 12 miles to get to cell phone service to tell me that the tornado had spared the holler, because he knew that when the folks turned on the tv in the morning and heard the communities mentioned and I drew the line in my head (I am a geography junkie) that I would draw it up the holler, across town and through the neighborhood where my son lives.

Fortunately, my mental imagery was a 1/4 mile off, both from my holler and my sons neighborhood. From the top of my ridge, you can see the trees laying down on the next ridge over, and roofs of houses. If the tornado had shifted its path just a small amount eastward my world would have been destroyed.

Since no one could be reached by phone,  I drove as fast as I could to see if I could find my eldest son, which took a whole day in the confusion (I never did, but his younger brother had driven from East TN to look for him and located him for me) his house was a few blocks out of the path, but with lines down everywhere and people trying to reach others it was chaos for a while.

One tip (I plan on posting more tips and things I learned during this when I am caught up with all the orders) make sure you have your cell phone charged, and one of those back up battery thingies for your cell phone, so that you can call everyone who might be looking for you, and save some loved ones grief and worry.

An entire 3 county area was without power and phone, so there was also no gasoline, so if you were on empty, you couldn't drive somewhere else to use the payphone, nor use your car charger to charge your phone.

In my case, since the path of destruction was so close and across both of my routes in and out of here, after I got in and they started blocking the roads, it was difficult if not impossible to get in or out.So I was stuck without power or phone here for the duration.

Wal-mart has its own generator, so they were the only place in town open, and in a short time, they were sold out of car chargers, those battery chargers for cell phones, C size batteries (for radios) and other important things.

This year the nation is already way above average for tornado and storm activity, so I urge everyone to get a weather radio and get their emergency supplies ready.

My luck was better than so many, I just lost all my food in the freezer, and my beloved, elderly blind mule, Dottie. She and I had many happy years of friendship and trail riding, and I will miss her. Her pasture mate, the paso fino mule Rose, misses her, too.

My heart goes out to my community and neighbors, as the loss was so great, and it will be a long road of recovery ahead. I do appreciate everyone's thoughts of love and strength sent this way.


  1. I've been watching the weather on the UK news and it looks awful. I'm glad to hear that your family are all safe.

  2. I thank God that you and your family are all right, Cady May. It is sad that you have lost your mule though. I have been waiting to hear the end and it was OK for you and your family.

  3. I am so happy to hear that you and your family are all right, but I am sorry about your precious pet.

  4. Thanks again, to all for thinking of us. It was aggravating to see how our community was portrayed as ignorant hillbillies, it is really not like that. Most people are intelligent, kind, salt of the earth type is almost like the news media searches out the "extreme" of anything to make a better story.
    The actual tornado damage itself was very extreme. Beyond the oss of life which is so tragic, it is especially sad the loss of 100+ year old farm houses, barns, peoples hard work in creating lovely, tidy farmettes and nice picturesque neighborhoods, even with so modest of means. It was a place to be proud of, and it pissed me off that Bush said "you will build it back better than it was" that seems like an absurd and thoughtless statement, to me.

  5. Hi Cady May,
    Don't take personally the statement of building back "better than it was." Everyone liked to say that after Hurricane Ivan hit this area in Sept '04, too. It's not meant to be a put-down, but rather meant to be a ray of hope. (But it takes YEARS to rebuild! I have friends who were still living in a FEMA trailer, two and a half years after the hurricane.) You all have a long haul ahead of you.
    You're in my prayers. Dianne in FL

  6. We got to hear the same thing after Katrina tore the lives of our community apart too. Apparently living in MS lowers our IQ by several points. I'm sorry the same has been said to your community. I imagine though that like us you will pull yourselves up by your bootstraps and get on with the job to be done.
    On another note, your mom is in my prayers.


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