Tuesday, June 17, 2014

We're Safe

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.

7 comments:

pastcaring said...

I can't imagine how terrifying it must be. Glad you're safe, but so sorry for all those affected by the tornado this time. xxx

Goody said...

Strangely enough, when you're taking cover it never really seems like it might hit YOU. Maybe that's just how people survive in a place that has us running for cover three months out of the year. Even as the tornado was hitting us in '08, it didn't register in my brain that it was a twister. I heard the noise, and the windows breaking above us, but figured it was from hail. Crazy, right? The people in Pilger had the daylight to see what was coming, which was probably much more frightening. We also didn't have any fatalities-I just don't know how the community will bear that. I say "the community" because in a town of 300 they are mostly a family.

I didn't know we'd been hit until I tried calling for help on the cell phone (we were trapped in the storm cellar underneath debris) and the operator said the Red Cross was en-route to town. "Why?" I asked, then she told me on the phone it had been a tornado. The neighbours ended up getting us out-would you believe it was a rake wedged between the wall of the mudroom and the top of the door downstairs that trapped us?

That's a rural farming community, so I guess this time of year the biggest concern after shelter is getting water to livestock when the power is out, and the wells won't operate. They're going to have one hell of a mess to deal with after the initial shock wears off.

Connie said...

Oh I'm so glad you're safe. I was wondering if they were anywhere near you. We just endured the wildfires here in Southern California. We were evacuated as they burned right across the street! Mother Nature.....you just never know.

Goody said...

@Connie

Now, wildfires are SCARY! I'm glad to hear you're OK. And then there's the earthquakes...

Northern mum down South said...

Glad you're all ok x

Sue said...

So happy to know that your part of Nebraska is safe. I guess it is a pretty big state, my concept of size is not good as New Zealand is quite small, two Islands, North and South. I have found a map of Nebraska on Google, found Omaha still looking for Pilger. STAY SAFE dear friend!!

Jessica Cangiano said...

What a truly frightening experience. Though I did once see a tornado at a distance (which, sadly, claimed a life), I've never starred a natural disaster of that magnitude straight in the face and had to worry that it might destroy my home. The closest, actually now that I think of it, that I've come to such are some of the incredibly powerful forest fires we get around these dry Okanagan parts some summers. I'm truly glad you're safe and hope that you remain as such no matter what Mother Nature throws your way.

♥ Jessica