August 19, 2013

Toto, We're Not in Kansas Anymore...

When Seth and I had made the decision to move back to the US, we knew we wanted to drive our car back so we wouldn't have to worry about purchasing a new one from the get-go. The plan was to fly Taelyn back to Oklahoma to stay with my mom and dad for a couple of weeks until we were able to drive back. Well, Mother Nature had other plans. Four days before we were scheduled to fly out, Moore, Oklahoma was hit with a deadly tornado. Scariest part of all, it missed my parents house by about five block. Yeah, you heard me...five blocks! Luckily, they were not hurt at all, but the area was completely destroyed. My parents had to evacuate their home and went to my sister's house in Dallas. My mom just ended up staying in Dallas with Taelyn which worked out in the end. 

After Seth and I got back, we went to visit my parents before I started back to work. This was about a month after the tornado, and there was still so much work left to do to repair this community. I had seen the destruction of the tornado that hit Moore in 1999, but I have to see this one devastated me even more because it was so close to my parents. The path of the tornado was going straight towards their home and turned right at the edge of their neighborhood. When Seth and I were driving down the main road to their home, all I could do was stare at the sheer destruction and cry. Really, there is no other way to react or feel.
This patch of land is where a horse ranch used to be. The owners lost over 150 horses. This is also the corner where the tornado turned directions and went away from my parents house.

This used to be a neighborhood. An entire neighborhood, completely wiped out. Those large patches of concrete? Those were the foundations of the homes. Gone.

When a house was checked and cleared for survivors, the garage would be spray painted to let people know. We also saw houses that would have insurance company information on them to let the insurance companies know that they had already been checked and claims were made.
This was my dad's local liquor store. I know that sounds kinda funny to say, but really, that just shows how all these businesses were part of the community, and now they are gone.
No, these cars were not originally white. The wind from the tornado was so strong that it stripped them of all their paint. Crazy, huh?
There was a woman who was in labor right when the tornado hit. (The corner area was the women's ward). She was given a shot to slow down her labor until after it passed, and then she was rushed to another hospital to deliver. Think about this, literally while she was in labor, the walls were coming apart around her. That's a story to share with your grandchildren!

There is still a lot of work to do to rebuild Moore. I know a lot of people will say that its just too big of a tornado to hit the area again in only a matter of 14 years, and they will move. A lot more people will build storm shelters if they passed on the last tornado. I grew up with tornados as did all Oklahomans. I don't live in fear of them, but sometimes Mother Nature has a way of reminding us of her power. I do have to say that we are pushing my parents a little harder to move to Dallas, but it looks like my dad isn't budging. What can I say? He's stuck in his ways.

No comments:

Post a Comment