When Pastor Ron took the guys around some of the damage Monday afternoon, what they saw was incredible. The almost unfathomable strength of the tornado was shown in the trusses that were ripped off of the top of houses, and the crumbling of entire homes. Houses had crumpled sheets of tin in their yards, when there weren’t any tin shops anywhere nearby. Furniture was shattered, mattresses sucked up out of their rooms and thrown out, and sheetrock pulled off of the studs it was nailed to.
Some blocks, sometimes 4 blocks deep, had all their houses leveled, with a splintered mess of every building material imaginable, covering the concrete slab where homes stood just 2 weeks ago.Some houses are still standing, but are condemned and are awaiting the bulldozer to level them. In many neighborhoods, there is so much rubble and debris that you cannot see the yards. All that can help here right now is big equipment…
When we, as a family, took a drive through some of the neighborhoods tonight, we found that Pastor Ron hadn’t even taken the guys to the worst damage. Yes, there are neighborhoods where the damage is 2 blocks wide, and you can easily follow the path that the tornado took,you can tell the houses that were on the outskirts by their roof damage. Each one of those little black rectangles covers and seal up a debris penetration, where some sort of flying debris (brick, wood, rocks…) hit and broke through the roof of this nearby home. More neighborhoods where some of the homes were leveled, and some were deemed condemned because of the amount of damage they sustained… Out there driving through these neighborhoods, we find it incredible that not more people lost their lives. There is SO MUCH destruction here. But the people of Moore are picking up the pieces, doing their best to reclaim their lives, and move on.
“Yard Sale some water damage” 🙂
Driving through the town we saw signs that marked where lunch and water is offered for the volunteers and homeowners out cleaning up their lots. There are reader boards telling homeowners to continue to move all their debris curbside, and lots of fenced in retail areas to keep looters out (and for liability reasons I’m sure).
There is so much that needs to be done just to remove the contents and shattered pieces of destroyed houses. You know those Time Magazine articles with all the pictures of war torn 3rd world countries, where there towns have sustained ongoing bombings for years, and there is nothing left undestroyed??? That is so like what we saw tonight. We drove to a new part of the devastation, and the scene was surreal; as far as you could see, down the wide swath decimated by the path of the tornado at it’s peak…Some people lost their homes and all of their possessions. Some people lost their jobs…
Some people lost both.
The nearby Walgreens is closed due to damage, but they quickly moved in a mobile trailer and are still dispensing prescription meds. It reminds me of the CVS in Tuscaloosa that did the same, and was still operating out of their mobile building a year later. These neighborhoods are in town – not on the outskirts, not some remote subdivision. It’s pretty bizarre to see a huge swath of mass destruction, and then a block in from the edges, the homes are structurally fine, with maybe a tarp on the roof and a few branches on the curb waiting for pickup.It’s comforting to know that this life isn’t all we have. And that trials make us stronger. The job ahead is daunting, but Moore is going to recover, and rebuild. Hopefully, we can help them out just a little bit!