Friday, July 28, 2006
WE MADE IT THROUGH THE STORM!
Wednesday, July 19, 2006 I walked out of my office into a bright beautiful sunny day. As I strapped on my seat belt and started the car, my phone rang.
"Mom, where are you?"
"I am in the car driving home."
"Please hurry, I think we are in a tornado."
"What do you mean? It is sunny here." Mind you I work maybe 20 minutes from my house.
"It is pitched black and the trees are snapping off. It is really bad. Dad is here with me."
Suddenly I looked toward the west and I saw the heinous looking clouds. It was the scariest thing I have ever experienced. I immediately started to pray."Jesus, please build a fence all around me. I'm not ready to leave yet. Please protect me and the rest of the drivers."
It was now pitched black. If you ever seen the Wizard of Oz when Dorothy's house blew away in the storm, that is what I was driving through. Trees were going above my head and utility poles were snapping in half, and trash cans were smashing against cars. Paper, dirt, a hard rain, live wires were every where. I prayed myself home.
I could not stop. All the lights, traffic signals, stores, and service stations were dark and they were not letting folks in. There were no ditches to lie in. I was passing through communities. It was a sight. But I kept praying and driving as fast I could without causing an accident. About every five miles I called my daughters' cell to give her my location. If something were to happen I wanted someone to know my last sighting.
Finally, I was home. As I parked and ran into our house, I turned and looked at the car. Guess what! God had built a fence around it. My car was so shiny; it was if I had just bought it off the car lot. There was no rain on it. Trust me, I know it is hard to believe, but I looked and smiled. I knew that my prayers had been answered.
Without land line phones, radio or the news, we had no contact with folks. On Thursday, I returned to work and found out:
* This was St. Louis and the metropolitan's worst stormed ever. It was dubbed: The once in a lifetime Storm.
* We were declared a disaster state
* The military was brought in to search for the sick and the elderly
* This storm was so horrible that it pushed transfer trucks off highways, and caused millions in damages to homes and property.
* We would not have electricity in almost a fifty mile radius for up to seven days.
* Our city will suffer many millions in merchandise and money. Workers were sent home and many have still not returned to work.
*Hospitals and nursing homes were evacuated because all of the generators were wiped out.
My family and I had no where to go. My mother and father and siblings and friends were going through the exact same things. Hotels were packed until they lost their power. On Thursday, we were hit again, more than 570,000 without electricity. It took out the rest of the area.
Sadly our communities look like a ghost town. Nothing is opened in a 15 miles radius. No food, water, gas, nothing. Nada! Zilch!
Communities centers were opened to shelter folks had to close because they lost their power. It is stinky hot here. We are hungry. But I smile because I know with every fiber in my bone that there is a God. I always knew, but never had to call on him the way I did on Wednesday. To witness the destruction in my city and to see my car, even with all that rain still coming down and my car didn't even have a water spot on it. You would believe it too. He built a fence around me and I am so thankful.
Now I am typing this by a generator that we purchased this morning. My husband is out searching in other communities for food. We have to make sure that what ever or where ever we purchase food, it wasn't hit in the storm. Folks might try to sell spoiled food.
That said, we have been through something horrific here, still I smile. Because we the people of St. Louis and its' surrounding communities are blessed.