Tornadoes in North Carolina

The plural version of tornado just looks funny to me with that “e” in there, but evidently it’s correct. 

Anyhoo…

We’ve had a tornado scare before when we were living in Texas, but this time we had one much closer to home.  As most of you know, the Fayetteville/Fort Bragg area was hit hard with tornadoes this past Saturday evening.  We were very blessed and suffered no damage or injury, but there are many, many in the area without homes now.  The last report I read said that over 167 homes were destroyed completely and almost that many more were damaged.  Depending on the article, I’ve read that only 1 or 2 people died in this county.  While I know it is devastating for those families, it is also incredible that number isn’t higher given the amount of damage and devastation.  The number is higher (around 17) when you include the other counties statewide that were affected by this same storm.  Locally, an entire neighborhood was destroyed.  Some are still without power.  An entire Lowe’s hardware store was wiped out. That store was about 20 minutes or so away from us. This was incredibly widespread!

Here is an article from the local newspaper if you want to read more about it.

 

How our day went:

Our Saturday started normally.  There was a post-wide yard sale, so I got up early to hang out with some girlfriends and look for bargains.  All morning, there was a threat of thunderstorms, but we only got sprinkled on a couple of times.  After I returned home, things started to get ugly.  We were watching the weather and keeping up with reports on Facebook.

(Don’t you just love social media where you can follow in real time what people all over the place are seeing/experiencing? It was very handy in this case especially because that’s how we learned that a tornado had touched down right outside one of the gates to post.)

That’s when we moved to the closet!  We have an extremely large closet under the stairs, so we pulled out a bunch of stuff and made room for 3 adults, a child, and a cat! Actually, we put the cat in her crate so we wouldn’t have to go hunting her just in case.  We brought in a dining chair for Granny so she wouldn’t have to sit on the floor, and then Hubby, Lovebug and myself found a seat on the Army green duffle bags.  We had snacks, an iPad to keep Lovebug entertained & distracted, and our cell phones for following the news.

At one point, Lovebug was looking a little nervous and we talked about how God made the storms, He controls them, and He directs their paths.  She knows that, but like all of us, sometimes needs a little reminder in the middle of the storm.  We prayed and knew that no matter what, God was in control. 

I can’t remember how long we were in there, but once we had confirmation that the storm had passed, we came out.  While we were in the closet, we lost power – that was around 3:30 pm.  We stayed inside until it was clear out, and then we ventured out.  We got in the car and drove a bit around post to see how things were and to find out what was open. 

The sky was clearing, and just as quickly as the storm came it was gone.

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Thankfully we were able to find one gas station running on generators and were able to put gas in one of our cars (both of them were very low).  It wasn’t long before even they were out of gas.  Nothing was open.  Nothing on post had power. 

We came home and ended up hanging out on the driveway watching Lovebug play until it was dark enough to try to go to sleep.  I am SO thankful it is Spring, and not Summer!  The temperature in our home was comfortable.  I was a little warm because I’m used to sleeping with a fan, but nothing I couldn’t handle.  Lovebug wasn’t so sure about going to sleep without her music on, but I told her it was just like when we go camping and even she managed to get a decent night of sleep.   I know so many didn’t have a bed to sleep in that night, so we were truly thankful for what we had. 

From the moment the power went out, we didn’t open the fridge or freezer.  Once you do, even for a second, the temperature gets much warmer.  We left it alone in the hopes that we’d be able to safe our perishables.

Sunday morning, we still had no power along with the rest of post.  The surrounding areas were in the dark too.  Once again we were reminded of our blessings! We have a GAS stovetop, and a GAS water heater.  In our past homes, these have been electric and we would have been without hot water as well.  Since we had kept the fridge closed, and the temperatures were mild, our food in the fridge was all still plenty cold.  We lit the gas burners and were able to cook breakfast, make coffee, and take hot showers!  Something that on any other day, we would have taken for granted…but not on this day!  Since we go camping a lot, we already had a camping coffee percolator (that Hubby is planning to take to Iraq…in fact he just bought a stove to go with it!)

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After 20 hours, our power was finally restored and in the end we didn’t even lose any groceries.  We are so blessed, and so incredibly thankful!

Please, please pray for all of those families in the area.  So many without cars or homes.  Others dealing with injuries, or even loss of a loved one.  Even with the best insurance, we know it will take a long time to get their “normal” life back. 

Be thankful today.  Content, even.  If you have a bed to sleep on with a roof over your head, you are blessed.  If you have clean water to drink and have had at least one meal today, you are blessed.  If you have a choice of clothes in your closet, you are blessed. 

I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.  I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.  I can do all this through him who gives me strength. (Phil 4:11-13)

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