Monday, November 18, 2013

Central Illinois Tornado

Things have been crazy here.  Princess Bear(PB) is sick....again and I have been dealing with a kidney stone.  Not fun but what can you do?  It was enough to warrant a small break from blogging.  I woke up feeling well enough yesterday that I was trying to decide what to blog about.  Life in general, Obamacare and a few other topics were running through my mind.  Instead Mother Nature decided to make a decision for me.  I live in Peoria Illinois.  Home of Catepillar World Headquarters.  Town that coined the "If it plays in Peoria" trend.  Home of Richard Pryor.  I actually was an extra in one of his movies when I was a kid.

Back to the topic at hand.  PB and I didn't go to church yesterday since we weren't feeling well.  My dad did make it and afterwards we tried figuring out where to get breakfast from.  We knew that there was going to be a string of thunderstorms and severe wind for the morning and most of the afternoon.  Yeah, that turned out to the the understatement of the year.  A f4 tornado ripped through Washington Illinois which is about 20 minutes from here and one of the places I've been trying to convince my family to move to.  Washington is a cool little town with an awesome town square and a great school district.  You can read or watch more about the tornado at the following sites:

Shortly after breakfast the wind really started picking up. I mean it was really whipping around.  The sky got really dark and it actually reminded me of what the weather does right before the eye of a hurricane goes through. I'm not a big fan of hurricanes but at least there is usually some warning involved.  Tornadoes- not so much.  A few minutes after it got dark and super windy it started to storm and hail like nobodies business.  It had been so nice that we had all the doors open so my dad and I started scrambling to close things up.  There was rain flying in through all the screens.  I honestly can't say the last time I saw a storm like this.  A few minutes later the tornado sirens started going off so we headed for the basement.  I was so proud of PB who went into prepper kid mode and started gathering up led lights and lanterns, the battery operated radio and bottles of water to take downstairs with us.  She was so on top of it!  The basement was taking on tons of water but we only had to spend about 20 minutes downstairs.  It was scary but over very quickly.  I guess the news was spreading through the news quickly.  Two of my aunts in the Chicagoland area called to check in on us.  We were a bit worried because we couldn't get ahold of my sister or brother in law on their house phones or cells.  We finally heard from them and they were ok.  No power it it was restored until today but their house was fine.  Also no cell signal to make phone calls but they could text out.  I was also worried about my sister's sister in law.  She's the one who had her baby 8 weeks early.  He had just gotten released from NICU on Friday.  He was having some problems keeping his body temp up on Saturday and their house is in Washington Illinois.  I text her and finally heard back from her.  Their house was still standing and had no real damage.  They had no power and couldn't make any phone calls. She lived a block away from one of the subdivisions that had been decimated.  I was so relieved that they were fine.  Then news and pictures started rolling in on Facebook.  I have a few friends that have lost their homes.  My friend Susan's house was leveled but she's fine.  She's found 2 of her dogs but one is still missing.  Another friend is fine but her in-laws house was decimated.  They were in the crawlspace and had to wait to be dug out.  It took until 7pm for me to hear back from all of my friends that live in Washington.  Luckily everyone is fine.

You hear about tornadoes like this after Joplin and things like that.  Your heart breaks for the people involved but it is completely different when it's in your own backyard.  What has amazed me in the last day is how caring people and businesses can be.  A vet clinic near the worst hit areas opened last night and stayed open throughout the night providing emergency vet care and bordering for people who had lost their homes but saved their pets.  Schnucks a big grocery store chain here has offered to store the perishable food for people who are still without electricity.  Duracell was on site last night providing batteries and charging stations.  Many local restaurants provided free meals throughout the night for those displaced and the first responders.  It's been heartwarming to see how communities can come together.  Below is a slideshow of the damages that are all within a 1/2 hour of my house.  It is amazing how much damage can happen in just a few minutes.  So I'm going to wrap this up by asking you to say a prayer for all those who have been affected by this.  If you can make a donation of any kind I'm sure that Red Cross would appreciate it.

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