Southern Man

Thursday, May 26, 2011


The neighborhood was fairly busy today as families continued to take stock of the situation, recover what they could, and prepare for rebuilding.

This photo was taken from the southern border of The Land, facing southeast. The home two lots south of Southern Man lost a lot of shingles, but no sheathing; they spent much of the day yesterday covering the roof with those blue tarps. Note the capsized boat and trailer in the foreground. To the left are the contents of the immediate neighbor's tin shed, less the shed - that was about their only loss. The house on the other side of the street (in the center of the photo) is missing most of its shingles and a fair amount of brick facade but with almost all of the sheathing still intact. Whether due to differences in workmanship or just the capricious nature of tornadoes, the four houses north of that one suffered substantially more damage.

South of that house are eight lots of rubble.

The fury of Mother Nature is no match for a Southerner's indefatigable spirit and sense of humor.

The couple on the far southeast corner runs a rock-and-gravel service and they've already used their surviving heavy equipment to clear their slab. But not all made it through - that is a full-size gravel truck on its side in the background. Their truck barn was also completely blown away.

This pickup was picked up by the storm and dropped in the middle of the neighbor's yard...

...and here's a big truck in the middle of a field that started out in the truck barn mentioned a few photos above...

...but the most spectacular vehicular damage was this capsized motor home - which belongs to a family six houses away. Yes, the tornado threw a motor home half the length of our quarter-mile-long road. Of this house, only the eight-year-old boy's under-stairs closet survived. They attribute this to the sheer volume and weight of his toys. The storm took the house and garage, but left their car battered but unmoved. Also look at the ground in this photo (and in others above) and compare to the first photo in this post; the tornado plucked most of the grass right out of the ground.

Southern Man was deeply touched by the breadth and depth of the support these families have received. Yesterday Southern Man made a run to the local Sonic for a bag of burgers (when the manager heard what they were for, he halved the price) and had a hard time giving them away, there was so much food and water coming in. Today the ladies working a State disaster-services van were joking that more people were offered them food and water than were accepting theirs (but Southern Man, having put any number of nails through the soles of his boots in the last two days, took them up on a free tetanus booster). Everyone was in good spirits, openly thankful that no one in our neighborhood was harmed. The family from the home in the photo above were sitting under a canopy eating pizza and cracking jokes. Lord, keep us ever mindful of what is truly important. Amen.


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