|The tornado's path was wide and dangerous. |
Classified as an EF-4 with winds up to 200mph.
It was the worst storm I've ever seen... also the shortest. Within 15 minutes, the sun was peeking out and everything was calm. Neighbors were outside gathering thrown debris. Kids were excited, running around and riding up and down the street on their bikes. In just 10 minutes, the sky grew dark again, the wind changed direction and picked up speed. A second round of sirens went off. It was craziness as everyone jetted back into their houses. By now, I heard tornados had touched down in the vicinity. In addition to the rain, huge hail began pounding the house. The kids and I were scared this time. Thankfully for us, it was over quickly with virtually no damage.
Still without power, hubby and I were exhausting our phones trying to figure out what happened in the larger community. (Picture us sitting in our cars, charging phones, listening to the radio reports.) The Illinois River divides the greater Peoria area. We live on the west side; the east side seems to be tornado valley... and yesterday was no exception.
|Tornado touchdowns as reported by NPR, with the worst destruction in Washington.|
As photos appeared and destruction reports came in, my heart sank. The seriousness of this storm was real. I slowly learned all my friends and their families were safe, but the damage devistating. The photos are surreal, unable to recognize familiar locations... just widespread rubble. I began to remember the stories my mother shared of the 1974 Oshkosh tornado (my hometown just months before I was born), the destruction, and all the work that went into cleaning/rebuilding that area.
|Neighborhoods completely wiped out|
Tornados were always something that happened somewhere else.
Today, it hits home.
I've gotten specific requests from several friends of items needed, so today I'll be collecting what I can to donate. It will be a long road back to recovery for these families. Right now, it's so overwhelming. Some can't even get back into their neighborhoods. It's difficult to even know what they need when they've lost everything.
Remember when I bought my new PURPLE Garmin Forerunner 10? I had a perfectly fine green one, but I wanted the color purple. So my friend Vicky bought the used green running watch from me. Sadly, her house is now gone. An attempt at humor, I asked, "What about the green Garmin?" Yes, it's gone too. I can only hope it is found in the rubble, but if not, I'm totally buying her a new one!
I know many times I see catastrophes on the news and want to help. Sometimes I feel like my small donations to big charities are "lost" and insignificant. I feel the need to help someone more directly. If you feel the same, please consider donating below.
~ Runners Helping Runners ~
100% of Donations made here will be turned into gift cards - specifically for my running friends,
fellow Sole Sisters, whose homes were demolished in the tornado's path on Sunday morning.
And please continue to pray for all the families
across the Midwest who were hit by the November tornados.