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Thursday, April 28, 2011
I have always prepared for earthquakes and for tornadoes. When the children were small we had normal regular drills for these, even when the areas we lived in weren't actually tornado or earthquake hotspots. We thought it was part of well rounded disaster education and that it was much better to have your children prepared for this, than to try to calm a screaming child in a genuine emergency. The kids enjoyed our drills. How ironic that we should lose Daniel from Earth, even though we always took such great pains to keep all of our children safe.
In the last few days, tornadoes have occured in multiple states. Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, Tennessee, Virginia had a total of 318 tornado caused deaths (correct as of this date.) As emergency workers search rubble for more survivors,and others lie in critical condition in hospitals, this number may rise. Other tornadoes also occured in Texas, Ohio, and Michigan. Many people were injured. There is a great deal of destruction. This is not over, as there are tornado watches for today here as well.
Last night was the busiest tornado evening I can recall. Our farm was in the approximate path of one tornado, moving from the South to the Northeast, and then only a few minutes later, we were very close to an even larger one which moved from our West on a Northwesterly course. The pictures posted here are of many different types of tornadoes in many different places, but ours were very broad, not the thin variety. Fortunately, I had e-mailed all the kids during the day of the tornado warnings, and everyone came home as soon as school or work were over, so everyone was home for the genuine events. It is normal here to have tornado warnings In July after the long hot days during thunderstorms, however multiple VIEWABLE tornadoes appearing here and there all around the area, in April, is highly unusual and quite dangerous. So far as I know, the deaths from Virginia tornadoes in the past day occured in Southwestern Virginia. We have much property damage and destruction in Central Virginia however. I am told that last night, we had four tornadoes come very close to this farm.
When we built the farm we had a fortified basement built for both tornadoes and for earthquakes, and although this is better protection than many people have and we are grateful for it, nothing can protect from a true direct hit from a substantial tornado. A direct hit from a powerful tornado can turn almost anything to matchsticks in seconds. This morning my husband called while on the way to work. Apparently one of the tornadoes has done significant damage to the forests on either side of the interstate highway as well as to the large forested median in between.
Today we pray for the people who are in the path of todays tornadoes and storms. We pray for those who have lost family members to these storms in the past few days, and for those who have loved ones in hospitals as the result of them. We pray for those who have lost their homes, their livestock and their pets.