Sunday, April 09, 2006

Surveying the Damage OR What Really Matters

I went home. My house was OK. My mom, dad and sister were OK. I haven't spoken to my aunts, uncles and cousins yet (my phone died, and all the lines there were still kind of touch-and-go), but my grandparents said they're fine, too. It looks like the Caldwell/Wilee/Jones/Irons clan survived.

I got home early Saturday morning - around 6:30 a.m. - but I couldn't sleep. My heart was beating so hard in my chest that it hurt. I'm not sure what to make of that, but I finally dozed for a bit.

I spent most of the daylight driving around town looking at all the destruction, first with my dad and then with my mom. I told my dad about the biopsy thing, and he assured me it's probably nothing.

I saw houses missing entire stories, roofs ripped off, twisted metal in the median of the road, telephone poles missing the top half which we later saw in the median, a lack of telephone poles with only dangling wires, a mobile home on its side pushed against the side of a building, huge oak trees lying down, cars looking as though they'd been in trash compactors, cars upside down, cars on top of other cars, big empty spaces where things used to be, a house completely moved off its foundation. Driving toward 109, roads were completely blocked, and looking beyond the "Road Closed" signs, we saw nothing but heaps of debris and twisted metal where houses used to be.

And all this was after many hours of cleanup efforts. Before I got to the car lot, there had been cars in trees and cars dropped on the Vol State lawn. This is all down the road a few miles from my house.

It's hard to imagine something this terrible, and it definitely puts things into perspective. I'm glad I got to spend the day with my family, and I feel very fortunate that my loved ones somehow managed to avoid being hit by all this. Cable is still out for many, and some friends of ours have been told not to expect power for four more days.

It's hard to imagine how close I became to losing someone - my dad got out of Gallatin half an hour before it hit.

1 comment:

Manda said...

That's so sad. We have trees down around our street and some of the random junk in the yard blew away (plants, my dad's car stuff, gardening equipment, and the dog's water dish) and never returned, but the small tornadoes we had in Rockvale didn't do that much damage. Those poor people...

I'm glad your family and their things are okay, though. *hugs* Now, you just don't die of some horrible disease and you'll remain a matching set.