Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Post-Tornado Quick Update

Hi everyone, just a quickie quick update from us.

We are all accounted for with no known property damage due to the mega tornado that just tore through our side of town on Monday.

There were storms on Sunday and some areas were hit, with more expected on Monday.  But nobody expected this one.  Much like our infamous May 3, 1999 tornado, this one was over a mile wide and followed a very similar path.

Only this time, that path was through a much more developed and built-up area with family homes and businesses. 

One Ms. Kymberly and Mr. Caleb rode out the tornado in the restroom of the day care center, where Kym had arrived about 5-10 minutes before the tornado went overhead. She says there is no reason for the day care to still be standing -- they heard it, felt it, watched the walls shake, heard the jet engine noise, etc.

She got home a short distance from there to find the power out but the house standing (others in neighborhood were not).  She grabbed some clothes for her and the baby and headed to our house.  Only within that short time, the authorities had already started closing the main roads due to power lines down, emergency personnel needing through, etc.  She was stuck in traffic and could not even get back to her house.  Took her five hours to get our house, which would normally have taken about 20 minutes.

My old neighborhood from single-mom days took a big hit -- it was directly across the street from one of the elementary schools that was hit -- Briarwood is where the Kymster went to grade school when I had proudly bought my brand new little patio home that I thought I would live in forever.

Not sure what the status of that patio home is today, but expect it to have lots of damage.  We know another couple that live in that neighborhood, and they were posting pics of 2x4's that were shot through their roof and came to land in their son's bedroom.

We are used to tornados in this area and normally a closet or bathtub/mattress combo is all that is needed to weather out a storm.  But once in a while, along comes a killer, and they say you can't survive without being underground.  For the first time ever, I am considering the purchase of a storm shelter. 

Tornado alley isn't a bad place to live for the most part.  But this time of year ... warm Gulf air comes north and meets cool mountain air heading south ... it is just a recipe for potential disaster and that is what we had yesterday.

Tales of bravery and resiliance abound.  Tragedy and heartache are immeasurable.

Husband asked me, what would you do, when everything is gone just like that?  I said, you get a check from your insurance company and go buy replacements.  Again, as we have been slowly downsizing a lot of *stuff* in our recent move, the value of belongings is taking a low place in my heart as compared to the value of our people, our pioneer spirit, our heartland values. 

Have you see the pics of the pallets of supplies that have been donated to the victims and the first responders?  We Okies are a generous bunch.  I have barely caught a breath and haven't even texted to make a donation to the Red Cross or other agency yet.  But Kevin Durant has.  The company I work for has done.  Immediately, people were called into action and service.  And I feel almost guilty for staying out of the way so the people who know what they are doing can do what it is they know how to do.

We took Kym's car to the company car wash today to clean off storm debris.  I will post a pic later.  She is lucky.  A co-worker's friend lost their house and cars, and they spent the day taking breakfast to a local firehouse and trying to make their way to their friend so they could drop off their spare vehicle for them to use.

How do you provide temporary housing to all these families that are affected?  It is daunting.  Good thing we've been building houses as fast as we can around these parts ... they are going to be needed.

Well, I guess this post wasn't as short and sweet as intended.  But we are okay.  We are accounted for.  No losses for our little portion of OKC/Moore.  But keep our home-folks in your prayers.  There is much to accomplish and much to grieve.


Aunty Belle said...

Breathing huge sigh of relief!!

You are too dear to do this post so we could know al be well wif' y'all.

Think youse tellin' it true, Okies is good folks. God bless 'em.

Give Kym a hug from her Aunty!

Milk River Madman said...

Thanks for the update Pam. Glad you and Kym are safe.

moi said...

Thank you for the update, Pam. This really touched me: "The value of belongings is taking a low place in my heart as compared to the value of our people, our pioneer spirit, our heartland values."

You bet.

Buzz Kill said...

I was thinking of you and kym and Caleb while watching the news. You are really lucky.


Wait, you have a company car wash?

Pam said...

Thanks everyone!

Buzzy, there are two guys with designated space in the parking structure, armed with hoses and buckets and a price list. They hand-wash your car while you are at work. It is a great service. Not necessarily cheap, but convenient! Drop it off in the a.m., get handwash and vac, pick it up in the p.m. Nice little cottage industry. Kymmie had so much debris on her car, that if it had dried in place any more, it might really have damaged her paint. I know it is a small little thing to worry about, but one thing that was easy enough to take care of.