Lots of stuff in our world, but nothing earth shattering (except for the May 20 tornado that hit a little too close to home). The day before the tornado hit Moore, we spent a significant amount of time hanging in our basement while the tornado sirens went off 5 different times. Those tornadoes missed our area in Norman thankfully. I was at my office just NW of where the tornado touched down. In fact, the tornado tore up the route I took home AND the route I took IN to work.
At work, we were evacuated to the basement across the street until given the all clear. After we came back up, my husband was texting me that he got the kids and they were safe, south of the devastation and he gave me a play by play of the tornado path. At that time, I only knew that the tornado touched down while parents were trying to pick up their kids from school. I texted my sister who lives in the area to see if she was safe but I didn't hear back from her immediately. I heard that the Warren Theater was hit hard and my sister's husband is opening a restaurant in front of the theater. I prayed that they weren't AT the restaurant when the twister hit.
A couple of hail storms and a few inches of rain later, I was on my way home the back, back way. With I-35 closed as well as I-44, I was forced to head West to Mustang and take Mustang Road all the way to Hwy 9 West. The electricity was out in Mustang so the street lights were now 4-way stops. My gas tank was on empty so I stopped and gassed up, then I made my way through Mustang and headed south. Cell phone calls were not going through at this time but texting was working so I had to keep in touch with family that way.
When I finally made it home, we stayed up watching the devastation on the news and checking in with friends and family. My sister texted back that they were fine and ended up coming to our house the next day because they were without power and water. My mom called me back 3 times even after talking with my husband who told her we were all okay. She did that same thing back in May 1999 after she watched the news and the horror. Especially hard was knowing that children died at their schools... Scott had our babies home safe and sound with him and I am so grateful for that.
I took the back, back route into work the next day was was able to see the devastation from I-44 and 149th where the tornado touched down in Newcastle and crunched the metal bridge up then tore through Moore heading NE towards I-35. A lot of people were slowing down to check out the damage (mostly downed trees).
On Wednesday I was able to drive down I-35 to/from work and that devastation was very hard to stomach. The Moore Medical center was demolished as well as many of the homes across the highway. After seeing the terror of the F5 that hit 14 years ago and then this F4, I cannot imagine building a home in the same spot.
Things are slowly getting back to normal, a week later. People have been pulling together to help the survivors and it's a beautiful thing. I have lived in Oklahoma during some tragic times and my faith is always restored by the people and their willingness to donate time, money and things to help out those in need.
Prayers for all those people affected by the tornado...