Just a quick note to let people know we were far from yesterday's tornado in Pilger, NE. I've been watching the same awful video footage, and thinking about the job that lies ahead putting the town back together.
When our tornado hit in 2008, I looked at the wreckage and wondered how it would ever get cleared, but before I had too much time to wonder people started showing up with chainsaws and heavy equipment. I'm sure as I type, the chainsaws and tractors are starting-up.
Before anyone else though, the Red Cross was there-braving the dark, hail, and downed power lines to provide shelter and tetanus shots to everyone in our town. When we couldn't tell one street from another (because all the signs and houses were blown down) the Red Cross put up a sign on the fire station, and set-up. Handing out cups of coffee and heavy-duty bin bags might not seem life-saving, but sometimes that's what's needed most. FEMA did do a great job getting things put back together for us (despite their reputation) and as soon as the area is declared a disaster the federal money will start flowing in to rebuild. In the immediate aftermath though, having the Red Cross there was a godsend, and they also a terrific job of keeping the media away from the still in shock locals. If you're looking at those videos and wondering what you could do to help, please consider a donation to the Red Cross as they know how to get supplies to people quickly and efficiently.
If you look at Ceresco today, there are few signs of the two tornadoes that ripped through town, and up the county road. Occasionally, I'm reminded of it by bits of plaster that melted off the ceiling and into the cracks of my China cabinet. No matter how many times I've cleaned it, I still find dried bits of white plaster working through the cracks year after year. When we were moving house last summer I would find bits of glass tucked in corners behind heavy furniture, or pieces of the destroyed barn in the garden pottery. I have no doubt that the town of Pilger will be rebuilt, but there's a very, very long job ahead.