Tuesday, July 2, 2013

The Aftermath...

In the soft lantern light, Hunter and I sat in the Living Room with our iPhones updating friends on Facebook and texting others who were trying to find out if we were okay.  Looking back, we still weren't aware of how close a call we'd just had.  The darkness that surrounded our house on that cloudy, starless and moonless night hid the extent of the damage that lay just outside the walls.

David, along with about 6 of the local farmers, was outside checking on our 93 year old Farmer across the street.  Afterwards, the men all exchanged their stories; we learned that another farmer had been out doing a night time harvest of one of the potato fields to save as much of the crop as possible.  Through flashes of lightening, he saw the tornado hit the process plant behind us and tear off its roof.  The sheet metal flew through the power lines as the storm made its way across the 80 or so acres that separates us from the plant.  He saw it headed straight for us.  We hear that to this day, that is all the man will say.  Radios going, stories were being heard from all over our little community.  We gradually learned that it appeared that no one was injured (we would learn the next day about a miraculous escape of one of our local teens (see video below).

A bit later, David saw the FPL trucks working all around us and went to get our truck so that he could warn them that there were power lines to the now collapsed barn that sits on our property line.  The danger of fire was great should they send power to that structure.  When he got to our truck, he realized that the entire drivers side had been swiped by something.  A loud "clunking" sound was what he heard as he opened the door.  It was drivable however, so he went down to warn the workers.  As he drove out the driveway, he tried to see the damage inside our fences...All he could tell was that things were "down".  My camera flash only lit a part of our yard and neither of us wanted to risk walking under any of the trees until daylight.

We would later learn that FPL arrived so quickly because one of their trucks was at the power station located across the fields from us.  The man also saw the tornado as it made its way towards us and was talking to the office during the storm.

Eventually, David came back inside and let me know what he could see of the damage.  When we went to bed that night we knew the truck was damaged, the barn was down and the Well House and Well were under the Holly Tree.  It looked bad, but we were alive. We'd have to wait until daylight to really see the damage.

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