Well, I spent the most of the earlier part of the day traveling the 2.5 hours (one way) to Fayetteville to watch my team lose because they don't know how to inbound the ball. What a waste of a seven hours.
When I got home around 5 PM CST, was immediately informed that the town I was born in and graduated high schools from was hit by multiple tornadoes.
"It's going on right now."
Well, it was actually the news footage that was just coming in as the tornado had passed thru about two hours earlier. So I've been glued to the television on and off since then. No pictures to show, but there are a few articles on the web now.http://www.pbcommercial.com/articles/2007/...r/d8ngdvb00.txthttp://www.todaysthv.com/news/news.aspx?storyid=42165
So no one starts to worry I now live about three hours drive away from there so I was never in any danger, but coincidentally my sister had just passed thru about six hours earlier. But that was my old stomping grounds and when the aerial film started coming in I got a good idea of the path of the tornado and extent of destruction (looks like just one did the majority of damage). And could make out who of my friends may have been affected.
The damage is severe but I have to say it could have been much worse. I thank God no one was killed that we know of yet and I pray for those that were injured, some of them badly. But living in an area where tornadoes are common, I have seen a lot of footage of damage and the path was not very wide and I didn't see complete blocks of homes leveled. In fact from what I could tell, it looks like a lot of structures were half leveled. Just like the views of the Fred's store (that had formerly been a WalMart), that looked like a giant had stepped on and crushed half the building and the other half was still standing and looked about like it always did from the outside. From the air some houses looked the same way.
Another way it could have been worse was if the path had been a few hundred feet north. Instead it chose a path across sort of a neck of town and then went off into open fields. The path of destruction could have been much longer.
Besides the physical trauma and and other human costs, the worst part is the impact on the economy. It is a severely depressed area of the country as it is. Because the economy is mostly farm-based and the tornado cut thru the industrial park so what little non-farming jobs were there were hit hard. The media choose to focus on the old Walmart building as it was the most accessible and dramatic. But even that is a story of hard economic times for the community. http://tinyurl.com/ywj938
Still the destruction is bad and extensive and many have suffered a great loss. So I ask that you keep my hometown and its people in your thoughts.