Monday, June 21, 2010

A Much-Needed Perspective

Yesterday was Father's Day, and today is my parents' 30th wedding anniversary.  These events happen near the same time every year, and we typically do a joint celebration.  This year, my parents and brother came to Lincoln to have lunch and spend some time together.

Mom and Dad stayed later than they normally do, heading home at around 5:30.  I was watching the weather and watching the clock, waiting for them to call and tell me they had arrived safely.  Superior was covered in red on the radar on the weather channel.  The television told me that Superior was in a tornado warning and that people needed to seek shelter in their basement.

My parents weren't yet home, but were driving straight toward the storm.  When I called, they were a few miles north of town and were speeding (literally) to get home.  Then, the sirens started going off.  My mom said she would call when they were safe.

Thankfully, the call came a few minutes later.  They were in the basement, but from what they had seen, things weren't good.  Cell phone lines weren't working, so we had to communicate via land line.

Here's a video of what was happening during the storm:

My mom was called for an emergency City Council meeting last night, where they met with the Emergency Management Team and made a game plan.  She along with the city electric crew worked into the night and returned to work early this morning.

It was confirmed this morning that the tornado was an F2 and had wind speeds reaching 120 miles per hour.  Here are some pictures courtesy of my friend Whitney at Whitney Huynh Photography.

This is in our City Park.  A tree fell on top of the band shell.

Many cars were damaged.

MANY trees fell down.

Some were uprooted.

Train cars were removed from the tracks.

Many roads are now blocked by trees.

Lots of roofs were damaged.

And yards are covered in debris.

Power lines were damaged... many are still without power.

This shed was completely turned upside down.

Here are some more pictures from my friend Brooke at Hi-Light Studios Photography:

More trees...

Destroyed swingset

 My friend Brady's house

 Then there is the flooding issue.

This last one is from my friend Houston:

This was her caption:  "the entire church sign was shattered...but the one thing left in tact was the cross on top."
That speaks volumes of truth.

When I talked to my mom over the lunch hour, she said that their plan is going well.  The American Red Cross has arrived and are serving lunch to the people who are working to clean up the town.  Only 25% of people are without power, and it is expected to return by the end of today.

We are so very fortunate that the only damage was structural... as far as we know, nobody was hurt in the storm.  In times like this I am reminded to count my blessings and be grateful for what I have, especially after being reminded that so much can quickly be taken away.

Thanks to everyone back home who is working hard to get things cleaned up and back to normal!

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