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Thursday, April 28, 2011

Life forever changed..

As you may have noticed neither Brittany, Erica, or me have been on.. We have all currently been without power for over 24 hours now. Early yesterday morning really bad storms started moving in. Starting at about 9 am I was getting calls from my school saying that if we were on campus we needed to get to a hallway and stay there because that area was under a tornado warning.. I never imagined how yesterday would end.

I wasn't on a campus and by the time it was time for me to go to class everything was clear, so I thought it was over. I called my school, and they said we still had classes, so I got ready and headed to school. My second class got cancelled because they had closed my teacher's son's daycare, so she had to go pick him up. This was a blessing because on my way home the sky was getting darker and darker. I got home at abou 2:30 and at 3 it started raining hard with really strong winds, and tons of thunder and lightening. There were two tornados within a few miles from us within that time, and another one a little south of us that took out my cousin's house. Her and her family have lost everything including their beloved dogs, luckily they were not at home and are all safe though.
Then at about 5:30 the thunder became constant, lightening was everywhere, our power cut out, and it was almost pitch black outside. I packed a bag with some diapers, wipes, and clothes in case we had to get out of there. Chris was outside taking video (like a dummy!), and that's when I heard it.. the sirens started going off. Grace had been asleep in my lap, and Chris busted through the door. I knew it was time to go. I jumped up, Chris grabbed Ollie and we jumped in the car. I didn't even put Grace in her car seat at first. Chris was already driving before I got her hooked in. I was so terrified that we were going to lose everything. We drove straight to Chris' mom's because she was the closest to us. In the time it took to walk in the house we all got soaked, it was raining that hard. At about 7 it seemed to calm down outside.. The power at Chris' mom's house went in and out. I had been texting my mom most of the night, and then around 8 she stopped texting me. About 10 minutes later I found out there had been a tornado in Ringgold!! My home town.. nothing like that had ever happened, and my mom, sister, and brother were there!! I couldn't get ahold of her, no one could. Not my dad, my nana, or me. I was so afraid that they had been hurt or killed. We finally got ahold of her neighbor who said their power was out, but that her house looked fine. I didn't even hear from her until this morning. She said that when the sirens started going off she got my brother to the basement, then got my sister, and they stayed there until the sirens stopped two hours later. And the cell service and power, and even the water in Ringgold has been shot ever since. You cannot even get into Ringgold. They have it completely shut off. The tornado tore through that town. So far 8 have been confirmed dead, and there are tons of people missing. The tornado came within a block of my mom's house!! The only reason it didn't get to her is because she lives on a hill, and when it hit the hill it bounced it in the other direction.. praise God!!

http://link.brightcove.com/services/player/bcpid34619011001?bckey=AQ~~,AAAAB_0PyCk~,_pBlGqvGs04Tc8UUwQF4CFKPQB-OCvyg&bclid=0&bctid=921805233001    ----This is a link to a video of some of the damage.

So far there have been something like 300 people confirmed dead in the Tri-State area. There were like 9 tornados yesterday.. And out of all of GA that got hit they are saying Ringgold got it the worst :(

I almost lost my home, my friends, and my family. We still have no power at our place, so we are staying at Chris' mom's (that's where we are now). And don't worry, Brittany and Erica, and their families are all safe. I don't know the names of anyone who died, so I'm not sure if I know any of them or not, but I do know that one of the people who died was a junior at the high school, so I very well could know that person.

Everything I knew and loved as a child is pretty much gone. Even my high school has been damaged. They are saying that it is going to take months to repair everything. Thankfully our home is not damaged, but this was just all so scary.. I'm glad it's over. I really hope nothing like this happens again. They are saying it could be as long as Sunday before we get power back.

They are also saying that if you are going to drink the water it needs to be boiled because of gas leaks caused by the storms, but no one without power can boil water, so they are evacuated tons of people. My mom took the kids and went to stay with my grandmother. She was told that if she left she was not allowed back in to Ringgold anytime soon, so she doesn't know when she'll get to go home again.

Everything is going to be so different now. I can't just drive to my mom's house anymore. I am so thankful that no one I love was hurt or killed though. So many of my loved ones came very close to disaster.. Please keep the people in our area in your prayers!

UPDATE:
Here is some pics of my hometown..



Hardee's with the sign through the roof..

McDonald's.. so many good memories in this place..

Another view of McDonald's.

Pizza Hut.. use to have a red roof with the Pizza Hut label.

Taco Bell.


The middle school.

From here down is pictures from my high school.




And this was my cousin's house..

7 comments:

  1. I am so happy you guys are ok!!! I was so scared. I couldnt sleep at all. The pictures bring me to tears. Where I came from tornandeos are pretty common but thaankfully only crops and farm equipment have been most of what has beed destroyed.
    We got the storm today. We have this thing were we get a phone call that warns us of severe weather. The phone rang this morning and Drew answered it but i could hear what it was saying. It told us to take cover that there was a tornado warning(which is when a tornado has been spotted) and it was heading directly for us. So we took cover in the closet. Unfortunately we dont have basements down here.

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  2. Wow. That is so sad! I'm so glad you and your family are okay though. I was watching the storm coverage on the weather channel and I seen it going through GA and I told Brian that everyone who has blogs that I read live there and that I was worried! I was blog stalking a little bit to make sure everyone was okay. Thank god we didn't get anything that bad up here, we went and stayed at Brian's grand parents house on the night of the storm just in case.

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  3. We are all safe thank goodness. Turns out I do know one of the guys from the high school that died. My heart breaks for his family. There was also a family (a mom, dad, brother, and sister) who all died, and an 88 year old man. There are two other people dead as well and tons more missing or critically injured. With all of the tornados together there have been over 300 confirmed deaths.. it's just so sad!

    I am just thanking God that no one I love has been taken from us, and that our home is still in one piece. The pics and videos I've seen today are even more devastating than this :(

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  4. That must have been scary! I am glad I wasn't here because if I was, Jessie would have been at his friends' house that got torn to pieces. (Instead his friend was at our house.) And I still can't believe that Jessie was outside when it was going by!!! I didn't know about it until Suzi called to check on us and I freaked when I found out!

    Who were the people who died? I have been without internet and all and have been disconnected from the world. We just got it back. I heard they are letting residents back in Ringgold. It went right by my Mom's apartment.

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  5. A boy named Adam Carrol.. everyone called him Tex (a junior at the high school). I just knew him through people. I wasn't friends with him or anything, but my heart breaks for his family. I cannot imagine losing my child in something like that.

    And the a girl name Chelsea Black who was a junior at the high school. Her brother Joe and her parents.

    The released the names of everyone who died in Catoosa, Hamilton, and Bradley county. You can find the lists on the news websites. Most everyone who died in Ringgold died on Cherokee Valley Rd.

    You know how close my mom lives to the middle/high school. It kept going past the middle school, and hit the mountain that my mom lives on, then bounced back in the other direction. That's how close it got to my mom. I am so thankful it didn't get to her house. I could probably get in to Ringgold because my lisence still says my mom's address, but I'm not sure my wacky emotions could handle it at this point. I'm just glad all my friends and family are safe.

    hi its chris

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  6. I saw the list. That is crazy. I can't believe the whole "Black Family" died. I didn't know them, but that little girl looked so sweet, and based on her Facebook there were a lot of people who Loved her. I think everyone in Ringgold was on Cherokee Valley Road. I saw pics. They got hit hard! You could. They let my brother in because he said he was staying with my Mom while he was on leave, which is not true. But he was in his military uniform, so they let him through.

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  7. I saw pics of Cherokee Valley Rd too. I'm not even sure where that is, but it looked like everything was flat :( They are saying there is mountains or hills on both side of that road, so when it hit there it just weent down the road bouncing off each side, and took out everything.

    They would probably let me in, but I'm just not sure I want to go in. I really want to help clean up, but I'm not sure I should with being five months pregnant and all. I can feel my uterus stretching when I'm just walking around Wal-Mart, and it does not feel good :(

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