We’ve cancelled our plans for the week to gather with sibling in OKC, OK. They survived May 3, 1999 and we believe they are safe. Maybe they are homeless again, but hopefully safe! We will do the Memorial Day Veteran’s parade another year.
Plans can unravel in a split second when catastrophe happens. There are no plans more important than life, health and survival. Our new plan will be the same as it was May 3, 1999 … sending blankets, sheets, and medical supplies. Sometimes things happen on a personal level. This is one of those times!
May 1999 and 2013
The tornado in Oklahoma city area of 1999 generated wind speeds of 318 mph. It was the fastest speed recorded. Again, we sit and wait. Watch the news. Text relatives. Make telephone calls. Send emails. Leave voicemail messages. We pray. An all too eire reminder what happened on May 3, 1999 except technology advanced to common text messages, emails and cell phones.
Would anyone ever think a tornado would strike the same area twice? These people are survivors and they know how to handle crisis by experience. This is one experience no one wants to repeat.
I don’t recall schools with children being destroyed in 1999. There were no warnings in 1999. This time it seemed there was 16 minutes of warning. It’s hard to imagine the difference of 16 minutes. School children were able to take cover, saving hundreds of lives. One life gone is too many!
It’s hard to imagine the level of destruction. What we learned from earlier survivors (brother and sister-in-law) were the simple things we take for granted. Crawling from under a house is a grueling task. Human hair gets caught on everything and stuck underneath or between debris. When they finally escape destruction and see daylight they don’t know what to expect.
Confusion or disorientation
This is definitely a different type of confusion precipitated by a weather disaster. The sense of direction is totally gone as they once knew it. There are NO landmarks. No streets, no houses, no trees, no stop signs … nothing is familiar. Some bodies and body parts may be found immediately and others only after sifting through the rubble.
Personal belongings are no where to be found. Personal items of total strangers are suddenly thrown about. Cars that no one can identify may be located near vicinity of ones emergence. They stand up and look around. Nothing but silence, except those helping to dig out. It’s something unimaginable.
For us we are relatively sure our loved ones have not returned home from a journey overseas, unless they took an earlier flight…that’s unlikely or maybe that’s hopeful! It’s believed they were returning May 21st, but don’t know that with 100% certainty. I can’t locate the email with the date and time! In the meantime, we believe their lives were not in jeopardy as so many others. What’s more fragile than life?
Rebuilding shattered lives is a long pain staking process, personal but possible. Rebuilding housing is secondary with insurance debacles. If their new home was in the path of destruction again from May 20, 2013 Oklahoma tornado they can rebuild. Certainly they will not be alone.
This is a strong community. There is strength in numbers. We will pray for saving lives as we pray for our family members.
What are the chances a tornado would hit the same area twice? What are the chances of having two brothers homes hit by tornadoes one in Oklahoma, one in Ohio and a father’s home hit by hurricane in Florida all within a couple of years?
By chance, anything can happen. It’s simply something we have no control over. It does happen and life goes on. Survivors are what we will pray for through another disaster and the recovery process. Oh brother another tornado! Isn’t that a double meaning?
- Oklahoma twister tracked path of 1999 tornado (newsok.com)
- 91 Feared Dead as Massive Tornado Hits Oklahoma (voanews.com)
- Tornado in Oklahoma ‘Worst tornado in the history of the world’? (+Video) (theepochtimes.com)
- Birth of the devastating May 20 Oklahoma tornado caught on video (geek.com)
- The “Biggest, Most Destructive Tornado in History” Just Hit Oklahoma (punkonomics.org)
- Massive tornado hits Oklahoma (dailykos.com)
- Oklahoma twister tracked path of 1999 tornado (vindy.com)
- NWS: Okla. tornado had winds up to 200 mph (miamiherald.com)
- Monster tornado on the ground near Oklahoma City (storify.com)
- Oklahoma tornado: Durant and OU, Oklahoma State athletes respond to destruction (sportingnews.com)
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