Thursday, June 12, 2008

Chapman Tornado

I'm not sure why we were so lucky, but as many of you know we managed to come out of the Chapman tornado unscathed, which is better than most of the town can say. It was a very scary and helpless night.

We were in our basement when it hit, and at the time we didn't think it did a lot of damage. What we would find out later was that we were about 1/2 block away from 100 year old trees being uprooted and about 3 blocks away from total devastation. Luckily Jace slept through the whole thing and Mackenzie was up but didn't really know what was going on.

The high school, middle school and grade school all seem like they are gone beyond repair, as is our Methodist church and the Lutheran church. MANY of our friends lost their homes and are awaiting the OK to go in and collect whatever belongings they have left. We are currently in Salina with Nichole's parents until the electricity gets turned back on, and I have no idea how long that will take.

We've had many emotions over the past 24 hours, including scared, fortunate, worry, and even guilt. It's very difficult to tell someone your house went untouched when theirs is lying in rubble. I really want to help someone, but at this point everyone is kind of walking around in shell shock.

I will say that the emergency crew, police force, and national guard have all done a great job and seem to be moving very quickly. We're hoping that our stay in Salina will be a short one.

I also want to say that we REALLY appreciate all of the prayers, phone calls and concerns. It's times like these that you really find out who your friends are. Please keep all of them coming, and please especially pray for the people who don't have homes to go back to.

I'm sure many of you have seen photos and videos online since this has become national news, but I went out and filmed some footage myself at about 6 a.m. after a night without sleep. It's about 18 minutes long, so make sure you have some time to watch it. If you want to bookmark this site, I will try to keep it updated regularly so you know how we and the town are doing.


Andy said...

Awesome job, Glad you are all safe. Please call if you need anything

Russ~Cheryl said...

Thoughts and prayers sent your way from the Retzlaff family ~ glad you are all safe and prayers go out to your township, families and your school. Russ, Cheryl & family
Grand Island, NE