Sunday, March 4, 2012

Tennessee Tornado 2012: Psa 107:25 For he commandeth, and raiseth the stormy wind..

(I write this to document this day for my children and so the oldest who lives out of town can see.)
On March 2nd, 2012, we worked in the yard, on a very warm day for this time of year. It was 75 degrees and sunny, but there was quite a terrible wind blowing and storms were on the way. It is easy to take the weather warnings for granted when most storms pass over you.
We watched the clouds come in with a little rain, but not much. 
The clouds changed however, they began to turn pink and yellow and even green. Some started to swirl while a dark ocean-blue-green wall come up over the horizon.
I saw on that a 'red' cell was on us. Because of the lightning, I shut everything down and we watched the windows. We should have been in the basement.
My 16 year old, looking out the front door said, "There's a tornado." At a glance, I saw he was right and ran them all downstairs to the basement into the corner that is underground. 
Within seconds, the power was out. It had lifted and touched down just over the hill across from us.
We heard 16 houses were destroyed and 60 were damaged. I heard no one was killed but several were injured and some had to be rescued from the debris. One farmer was frantically searching for his livestock specifically horses from his barn, which were all gone.
Below are pictures that my children and I took, with the exception of one that was forwarded to me, of the tornado, I believe taken by the Lee family. 
These don't show what I hear to be the worst damage, the troopers wouldn't let us down there.
Our God is mighty in power! His strength- His might- His creation- is above all that I can fathom.
His grace to my family and my neighbors brings tears to my eyes.
His love through friends who blessed us while our electricity was off, goes beyond mere human love. They were God's hands, love, and hugs to my family as they brought convenience food, money, and generators. We are so blessed!

The sky began to change and we started seeing hints of yellow, green, and pink.
 This is from the front porch; crazy clouds but not too unusual here in bad storms.
This is out the back door and you can't tell from this pic, but right in the center, the sky was yellowish and over to the right it was green and over a little more; pink.

Then the craziest thing I've ever seen- that wall- it looked like a giant wave out of the ocean- it was blue-green and if you had told me that a tsunami was coming I would have believed you.
'that wall' from my son's Ipod
"The Wall" -breath-taking- Can you see that ocean color? The picture does not do it justice. It was much darker and nontransparent.
It's hard to run to the basement when it's not raining or hailing and this amazement is right outside your back door.
Pardon me while I look to the 'Eastern Sky'- the Lord might be coming in this mess! :-)
We drove out that night but honest before the Lord, I was so crazy, I could not work my camera- at all! I couldn't take pictures or movies or anything- on any device! But it was right after the above picture was taken that my son first spotted the funnel coming down on the other side of the road in front of the house. We ran downstairs, but within a second or two, it had hit over the hill then picked up again and touched down on the main road taking out a line of pines, and power poles and electric lines..and ...the power went down. 

This below was sent to me on my cell phone. It was taken I believe by a family who lost their home. I pray the Lord is quick to rebuild for them.
Tornado 2012 Jackson County Tennessee

from my cell phone....right after it hit this second funneling cloud was right outside my back door

We saw that night, innumerable trees covering the main road, but the next day the following pictures were taken as they had cut the debris from the main road. The worst hit area, over the hill from my house, was still blocked off by State Troopers.

5 houses down from ours, at the end of our street, this house was buried in trees the night before but they had cleared some
The front view of the same buried house. It used to sit surrounded by pretty trees like a little house on the hill, but now we can barely see it.

This house had been beautiful. It had trees all the way around it like a canopy, but now the trees, the roof, and more are missing. Metal scraps are all over from some one's barn or home.

Another view of the same house. I think it blew all the windows too. There was glass in the road.
Turning from our road to the main road (through our rural area): This road was lined with pines on the left but they've been snapped. All the power lines and poles are gone but one. Last night, this road was impassable from all of the trees. I'm shocked by what I see. Those pines- they're gone! They were tall.

This house lost part of its roof, some of it's siding, and I can't see their garden, nor their fence where their beautiful grapevine used to grow. To the left of this home is a mobile home that was knocked off of it's foundation.
Notice the snapped tree to the left, the metal on the line, yet those lines didn't come down.
Notice this huge tree broken in the center and all the pine needles are gone except on the sides.
Closer view of those once-tall pine trees, just snapped.
I think a tree had been on top of this one because the nice big tree that used to be to the left of their house is no longer there and I don't know where all the mess came from in their yard, which is usually immaculate.
This house and yard was normally quaint and beautiful but it now looks like there are pieces of another person's home every where.
Homeland Security is here and several groups have hot food set up as there is no electricity for miles and we are kinda in the middle of nowhere. We've seen and heard lots of helicopters and airplanes today. We've also had tons of traffic.
There's lots of metal lying around and I thought at first it was from some of the destroyed barns, but if you look at the roof of this house, you can see that the tin is peeled back. Some of the strips from roofs just like this one, are laying around bent up or in curls.
This has to be so horrific for those who have grown up here and are/were living in homes that their parents built.
This home was pretty new, very large and fancy, but now has lots of damage to one side and the tarps indicate there's more damage to the roof on the backside of the house.
Those snapped pine trees coming from the opposite direction.
Why the candy canes? Well, while I was frantically trying to get everyone downstairs, the 14 year old was grabbing candy canes to take downstairs just in case "we got stuck and needed a snack"- -after we spotted the tornado across the street!
I hope to get down that other road today. And strangely, they're calling for some snow tonight.

We were so blessed to be unharmed and also to have friends who came to our aid so quickly. One precious couple we know even located us not one, but two generators, to borrow during this time. But, God be praised, while they were still here- they got the electricity back on, on this street!
God is merciful.
More pictures are here from Mabry School Road and on the other side of Dodson Branch Highway.


Bev said...

Oh, those pictures tell a scary story. Nature can be so powerful, but God can provide in the midst of it. My thoughts and prayers are with you and all those in your town who have been touched by the destruction.

Joy said...

I'm still amazed when I see the devastation. I'm still in awe of the power of the almighty, and I'm still extremely thankful for his unseen hand! Even in the valley, GOD IS GOOD! I'm so glad we know the peace speaker, that controls the winds and rain! I'm very sad for those that lost their homes, but very thankful to the Lord for his protecting hand! The pictures are amazing, THANK YOU so much for posting. We are so thankful you all were safe and God has his hand on you!

Donna said...

Thank you so much. Our community would appreciate your prayers! We saw more today- and it's so shocking and sad- but yet- miraculous too. From all accounts, it seems no one was killed. It is a miracle!

Donna said...

I'm just so shocked. The more we saw today- the more I thanked God that this didn't sit down right in the middle of our street. I'm so thankful for His mercy!

Heidi Zimmerman said...

I'm sorry your community is going through this event. I am relieved to hear that you and your family are safe. Wishing a speedy recovery for all.

Donna said...

Thank you Heidi!
We are so thankful we were spared but our heart breaks for our community. Thank you so much for your well wishes for them!