Okay Mother Nature, you can quit being such a bitch to us! Seriously. This poor town can barely take any more!
Sunday evening while the boys and I enjoyed a nice dinner with Freddy’s oldest daughter, Nicole, and her girlfriend, Marie, a few miles away a tornado was about to rip the head off of a section of Joplin, and then proceed to spit down it’s throat. Graphic, I know. However hardly as graphic as the horrible devastating pictures of the aftermath of the relentless tornado.
Total devastation. One person described it as looking at pictures from WWII after the bombings, and they were correct. The photos are tragic and the death toll is even more horrific.
But the beatings didn’t stop there. Monday, Joplin received record rainfall of over 14 inches! Yes you read correctly ONE-FOUR inches! Fourteen! While these wonderful men and women were out searching for people buried in the wreckage, it flipping rained on them ALL DAY LONG. And not just rain, I am talking torrential downpours complete with thunder and lightning. Two policemen searching the wreckage were struck by lightning. Now enter flooding. Perfect.
I packed a bag with the essentials: formula, a bottle, some diapers/wipes, nutri-grain bars, bottled water, first aid kit, flash light, extra batteries and some garbage bags for makeshift rain jackets and my wallet. I slept in tennis shoes and jeans. Michael’s old crib mattress was in the hall outside the boys’ bathroom to be used to shield us from debris after we found refuge in the bathtub. (Our house does not have a basement so the bathtub would become our shelter). I was prepared. Phone was charged. Car keys in the bag, just in case we could drive anywhere)
Tuesday was blue skies, but we all knew more was coming. The search and rescue teams were racing against the clock to find more trapped victims before the queen bitch herself unleashed round II on us. It started raining about 9:00 pm on Tuesday night. 9:30 the tornado warnings went out. The sirens had been damaged in Sunday’s tornado so the people of the town still without power would have no warning. Fan-fucking-tastic! We were lucky and had power still. It was pitch black outside and my heart was racing. Both boys were sleeping in their beds and Freddy and I avidly watch the weather channel for updates. You could hear the wind suddenly pick up. The forecast called for 80 mph winds. They were correct. It thundered and lightning lit up the sky. Thankfully no tornadoes in Joplin tonight. We went to bed after the radar cleared. I still slept in jeans and tennis shoes, just in case.
Wednesday’s forecast: Well what do you know??? TORNADOES! However I do have to say I think the weather center was being just a bit overly cautious or the storm system changed. We luckily only received rain, however the rain does not help with the flooding issue or the fact that pouring gallons of water on top of one’s already destroyed life, does not boast much hope of finding any memories or keepsakes in the rubble.
DEVASTATING. That word just does not even cut it. I started this post on Tuesday night. I am finishing it on Wednesday night after just having driven through the hospital area. Michael needed some asthma medicine and Ryan needed formula, so we ventured out for the first time. It brought tears to my eyes and left my heart heavy and aching for everyone affected. True destruction. On a road which I could once only see the buildings that lined the street, I could now see for miles. Barren, de-barked trees, demolished houses, and tattered vehicles. Walls still standing in the rubble, and vehicles were marked with a spray-painted “X” to show they had been searched already. The veterinary clinic had and “X” along with “All Pets OK” spray painted on the once solid brick building. As we drove past the hospital, the curtains swayed on the outside of the building in the wind.
I snapped some photos on my cell phone, however with tear-filled eyes I am not sure they will show much. I can’t even review them yet on my phone. I looked to my left at Freddy and then turned around to see two beautiful boys playing the back seat and said a prayer to God and to all my Angels in heaven that my family was safe. THANK YOU GOD! THANK YOU FOR KEEPING THE LOVES OF MY LIFE SAFE. I AM NOT SURE WHAT I HAVE DONE TO DESERVE THAT.
THANK YOU to all who have come down to help. THANK YOU.
I will post some pictures and some more thoughts on this again when I can feel my regular heartbeat again. I will also post some contact organizations and numbers to help.