May 20, 2013 in Moore, Oklahoma
I have no pictures. I have no videos.
I sat in the shelter under our garage with 7 other adults, 6 children and 2 dogs. We sat nervous and expecant waiting for what we were told was coming. As the sound started we all hushed and listened. I don't know if I can explain... so many have said trains, and I understand that but it doesn't quite get it. Maybe more like a rush of wind and thunder that never stops, or moves slowly through space. And then the quiet, and we sat. Our weather radio was static, and we didn't know the channel had been changed. So we sat and waited, because sometimes they come back. We didn't want to leave too soon. And I don't know what happened but a similar sound came by again and we sat and held our breaths again.
What must it have been like for those who were closer. What must it have been like for those who experienced the full brunt force of the object which barrelled it's way through town. I can't imagine.
We crawled out of the hole, not knowing what to expect, but got nothing we could have imagined. Blue skies, no rain, calm wind, other people slowly coming out of their respective hiding places. We all breathed, but knew we were simply spared what others must have experienced. Small pieces of other people's lives fell to our feet and onto the rooves of our homes.
The phone miraculously rang and it was my father. Then I finally got a text through to my husband and sister. For not being raised here, how is my family all within a mile from me? How can a tornado threaten all of us when we aren't in the same neighborhood? But we were all spared. No damage, no harm, just emptier fridges until the lights come back on. How is it that we were spared? I cannot say. I am simply glad God was with us all..
I have since driven through parts of the town who experienced the full brunt force, and I can fully understand now what people mean when they say it looks like a warzone. I couldn't imagine. Now my heart breaks because it's not my imagination.
I am so thankful for the resilience of the people in the area. They are already cleaning and combing and straightening and fixing. They aren't wasting a minute in helping everyone get back to normal, or a new normal for many. There is outreach from churches, local universities, national organizations, and neighboring states. I have had a multitude of people offer help and assistance. Whataburger is giving all of their employees a gift card to help with expenses during this time. Through the horrors of life so many times come the amazing spirit of people to help one another, to do what is possible, and sometimes to do the impossible.
We? We are fine. We suffered no damage, and I know without a doubt the crews are working their tails off to get the electricity back as soon as they can. We? We are trying, to help others, to reach out, and to get those who really need help the help they need. We? We are praying, crying out to the God above who is with us all to help our hearts regardless of how touched we were by the storm.
Please pray for the Moore area, and the Shawnee area who was hit the day before our tornado. If you can give please do so. But please don't forget to pray. What they have been through is unthinkable. I'm simply grateful God walks with all of us.