It is calm this morning with hazy sunshine outside. This is after spending three hours downstairs listening to the weather on the radio and waiting for the tornado sirens to send that awful, piercing, eerie noise through our community. We got hail, plenty of rain and lots and lots of wind, but thankfully no tornadoes here. There is plenty of garbage to pick up but all is well here. For many in our state this morning after the storm brings with it the reality that things have forever changed. At least three people have also lost their lives. Many tornadoes did there thing tossing buildings, trees, and livestock around.
I clearly remember that morning after twelve years ago. The heavy equipment had already begun the massive cleanup and the chain saws were buzzing. You could that buzzing everywhere. That wood chipper machine ran from sunup to dark making a loud grinding noise for many days. Rene and I walked through town that morning since we could do nothing at home except wait for insurance people and city inspectors to arrive and we were far down the list. We found our church and the Catholic school our kids attended destroyed as well as all of the community center, and homes around it. We then came back up the hill towards home and walked through the area just across the street from our house which was completely leveled. It was something you can not really understand until you are a part of it yourself. I think those first couple of days everyone was walking around in shock and in awe. The more one looked the more damage you saw. It was everywhere.
Besides the destruction and devastation there was something wonderful happening in our community. There was help arriving in the form of the marines, national guard, and bus load after bus load of people. They all came to help us put our lives back together. Most of the helpers were from other communities in our state, but I also met people from New York, Montana, Georgia, and Colorado. It was amazing to know how much people cared. We will do what we can to help someone else get things back together today and in the weeks to come because we remember how they helped us.