2.06.2008

What a night.

In case you haven't heard, northeast Mississippi, Memphis, Jackson and surrounding communities were hit pretty hard last night with a series of at least 6 tornados. Like most people in the area, the Knight and I spent a considerable portion of the evening watching the TV weather updates, looking out window as the sky changed from blue to gray to purple to green to black, and sitting in the bathtub when the TV told Cordova to take cover. As I sat in the bathtub with little Betty dozing in my lap, I tried to frantically think if there was anything I needed to fetch that was a necessity. I looked at her, I looked at the Knight, and I decided that everything I needed was right there.

Thankfully, our little apartment was left unscathed by the storms. In fact, the only part of apartment that looks like a storm came through is our bathroom. I had outfitted the tub with all kinds of blankets, pillows, flashlights, and candles and then I collected all the shampoo, conditioners, body washes, razors and shaving gel from the shower caddy (you know, that thing that hangs off the shower head) and put them on the floor so they wouldn't become missiles while we were hiding in the bathtub. Once the storm passed, I looked at our little storm nest and laughed at my childlike attempt to ready us for an emergency.

Unfortunately, not everyone was so lucky. Around 10 p.m., we got a call from the Knight's mom. She told us that one of the the Knight's cousins had lost everything in Jackson. This cousin is the same age as me, a fellow lawyer, and a relatively new father. He and his wife had recently purchased a new home in Jackson...and the Knight and I had finally visited this past Sunday. When the storm came their way, he, his wife, their baby, their dog, and his sister crammed into the master bath tub at their new home, and hid under a mattress. The next thing they heard were people rushing to rescue them from the wreckage because the smell of gas was so strong around the area where their home used to stand. I'm not exactly sure of the extent of the damage, but his sister reported that from the front yard, she could see the fireplace and an interior closet that she had been using while visiting there. The sister's car is no where to be found, and both the Knight's cousin and his wife's cars are destroyed.

Thankfully (and miraculously), they emerged without a scratch, but now they face trying to clean things up and regain some sort of normalcy. Right now, there isn't a whole lot the Knight and I can do. From what I have heard, there are plenty of people there trying to help, but most are just standing around with little to do. Although I want nothing more to hop in my car and go be with them, I am pretty sure I would just be another person in the way. I hope very soon that we will be able to help them in some way - whether it be extra muscles or extra money.

There are many other people currently faced with a similar situation. You can view pictures of the storm and debris here. Some maybe dealing with the loss of a loved one, and others are nursing wounds inflicted by this horrific storm. At this point, I think the death toll is up to 48. Days like this make me thankful for what I have been blessed with and remind me that we should not take those blessings for granted. I encourage you to help any way that you can - money, food, prayers...whatever.

I cut and pasted some info regarding local charities, if you are interested.

The Salvation Army of Memphis
To donate log on to: http://www.salvationarmysouth.org/kt/memphis/

The American Red Cross To donate to the Disaster Relief Fund for the American Red Cross, call 1-800-HELP-NOW or go to http://www.redcross.org/ .You may also send a check to:
American Red Cross Mid-South Chapter 1400 Central Avenue Memphis, TN 38104

American Red Cross of Northeast Arkansas 630 Walnut Blytheville, AR 72315

The Food Bank 239 S. DudleyMemphis, TN 38104. http://www.memphisfoodbank.org/ (901) 527-0841

Donations of food, hygiene items and money are needed by the American Red Cross, according to Jackson-Madison County Emergency Management Agency Director Marty Clements.To donate, call (731) 427-5543.

2 comments:

ashleystravel said...

WOW! Glad to hear you guys are OK and I hope things get better for your extended family.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear about your family's loss.
I am the Arkansas President of the "Pajama Program." We donate NEW PJ's & NEW BOOKS to non-profit organizations for needy children.
If you are interested in obtaining these items for the children who lost everything in the tornado, please e-mail me at:
jen@pajamaprogram.org and I will give you the information on how to obtain these items FREE.

I love your website.

Jen

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