Monday, February 11, 2013
Don't worry, we are all right
Last night, Hattiesburg was struck by an F4 tornado. This picture was taken just a few blocks or so from my shop (my shop is located outside the frame to the right -- Lowes is about two blocks down the street from me. You can see Lowes' sign behind one of the wires.) No one was killed, and all of the injured so far are "walking wounded," meaning there were no grave injuries.
I finally just made it into the shop to make sure the roof/windows were secure, and the store is in perfect shape. Harrison did make it to work today at the animal shelter, and all of the animals and the shelter structures are fine, although that was a narrow miss, too.
Much of town is a disaster -- several hundred homes are destroyed, six buildings on USM's campus suffered significant damage, and several of those will need to be razed, our Red Cross building was destroyed, and numerous other businesses/churches have damage ranging from minor to complete.
We were at home when the storm struck -- we have a weather radio and had listened to storm watches, then warnings, and then a tornado sighting. None of those warnings are strange -- we get them all of the time. The tornado started on US 589, which is the front of our neighborhood and ripped its way through town. We experienced a sudden pressure change and strong winds; we lost several large tree limbs and a section of our fence and ended up with an 8-foot long piece of twisted metal gutter from a house in our yard. Nobody in our neighborhood has gutters, so the storm must have dropped it there from somewhere else.
Many volunteers have converged on town and are helping with the clean up and recovery. We do have local shelters for people who have been displaced or who are without power. Thank you everyone for your e-mails and concern. I will be in the office as usual this week, I hope. If you'd like to help an organization close to my heart, Southern Pines Animal Shelter is currently taking in all stray animals and waiving surrender fees to help animals that have been displaced by the storm. The shelter is also having to do rescue work in finding trapped and lost animals. Click on this link to go to the SPAS web site. There is a donate button that makes it easy to give a few dollars. It all helps!
We are definitely counting our blessings, and one of mine is having wonderful friends like y'all!