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Tuesday, May 3, 2011

People out after the tornado

No editing here either--work with me.

Of course, people swarmed right after the tornado. Some had businesses to see after. Others came to help friends. Families came to sight-see. So did I. However, I was stunned at the sight. The next day, as I went out in the car for legitimate business (searching for generator) and was continually rerouted, I was even more stunned at the destruction. (There is no phone service here and then there was no cell service either.)

Thursday--Families with kids and strollers were out to get food and water at a nearby church that had set up massive grills, coolers, and generators. Church tables were brought out and the members manned the massive operation they had staged. Runners were still running. Walkers were out briskly walking. Bicyclers were out in force, not only the ones who bike regularly, but everyone who owned a bike, it appeared.

Four wheelers and golf carts were obviously legal for highways in town and all roads. This was a strange new world for me.  I hate to say it, but their was almost a carnival atmosphere.

The church where I observed this was giving away canned food and clothing. People were carrying both off in large garbage bags and huge boxes. Sometimes seven or eight people were loading up one pickup truck. I heard the leader of one of these groups say that this would make a great yard sale, all the stuff they got yesterday and today...all four days the group operated. Hmmm...a little extra water, okay. But, clothing for a yard sale?

The parks were full of all sorts of people. Since school and most businesses were closed, whole families were present. No one had electricity, so there was no internet or tv. No texting was taking place. The kids must have been in shock.

There are quite a few apt complexes nearby, so when they emptied, there were more people than would have been available in my residential neighborhood.

Did I tell you? Four women were using space to recharge their cell phones. They continually answered their rings and talked. Some just decided to pick up their phone and make a call. None of their loud conversations were to assure relatives they were alive. Others patiently and impatiently awaited their turn to plug in their phones for a charge! I casually mentioned to the women that if they turned off the cell phones that they would charge sooner/faster. "How will I know it is charged if I turn if off?" "I cannot talk if the cell is turned off!" Another turned her wrath on me and accused me of complaining. Oh well!

This area managed by the Cullman County Extension had signs on the table stating that only DSL users should limit their used to 30 mins. But, cell charging could take over two hours...?

The elderly woman volunteer was ineffective at managing the area. I whispered to her that cells turned off would give others a chance to recharge. She had heard the women and just weakly shrugged. She was afraid of them after their outbursts towards me. I just turned around and ignored them. They looked the type to beat me up...lol.

I decided BAM was the place to go. Someone leaving always allows me to use their card number. I have no phone service in my home, hence, no DSL.

Today, it is pouring rain, so no one is out walking, biking, running, or just sitting on the porch. The few restaurants that are open are full. I have taken full advantage of meals served. My stove was full of pots where I was cooking. The sink was full of dishes. Then, tornado. My energy for two days was spent getting the funds, getting the generator, and hooking it up. Then, I had to search for a station with gas, then for money to buy gas. THEN, I had to move the freezer and refrigerator to unplug the generator and replug them into the wall. I had left them sitting partially out from the wall. It is sooooo much harder to plug into the wall than to snatch the plug out!

My left knee that definitely needs arthroscopic surgery keeps buckling. Today, the right knee is buckling, also. Yes, that makes for difficult walking...lol. The house is a wreck and I don't think I have energy to do anything. Even sitting here is tiring, so I will go to the Civic Center for lunch and go home.

This morning, I let the hens out at 7:30. Thelma obviously had an egg to lay. She ran as fast as her hen legs would carry her. When I went out five minutes later to feed them, there was a nice warm egg, already laid by Thelma. As a matter of fact, all three were in the pen, taking advantage of the partial shelter from the rain.

As I have been in Walmart and Books-A-Million, there have been swarms of people buying lots of DVDs. I wonder if people are reading much. There will probably be a baby boom nine months from now.

The restaurants that are open are full.  I would like a salad and hot vegetables and a sit-down meal, but I am too frugal, besides being broke...lol. I never eat out and won't start it now.

This morning, I went out to get a free, hot breakfast. A friend was manning the table and wrote on a card and handed it to someone. I got my own hamburger with cheese, a glass of orange juice, and a bottle of water. When I returned, my car was full of things for disaster relief.

A 2.5 gallon hefty zipper bag held:

2 large, nice, blue hand towels
8.2 oz tube of Colgate
3 toothbrushes
22.5 ounce bottle of shampoo
2 large bars of Dave, my favorite bath soap
box of 60 bandaids
fine-toothed comb
nail clippers

In another bag were three rolls of tp

A 24 pack of Dasani bottle water was in the car.

There is a box of food that I have not looked into yet.

Where are the free massages? LOL

I knew none of this, I heard my friend say "everything," and did not question in the stupor I seem to have fallen into. It will all be used, eventually. The hot, freshly-grilled cheeseburger was delicious, even bare of condiments. There is never any Miracle Whip.

I hope this is not boring.

4 comments:

  1. So you made it through with no damages to your house or property? Or did I miss a post? Glad to hear you're doing ok!

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  2. Just junk in the yard from other people's homes. A knife lay in the driveway. More of my roof was torn away, letting in a little more water. I doubt FEMA will help me at all. This whole ordeal has been surreal.

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  3. *smile* gotta love having friends in the right places! but oh, not your roof! please check out FEMA though. after a hurricane in FL, FEMA paid to replace my relatives' roof, even without requiring financial hardship be proved.

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  4. FEMA is coming at noon tomorrow. They will pay for part of the generator, cleanup, and who knows what. They can tell that not all the roof damage was done by this tornado. I will see what can happen. I will report the results. The friend who lent me his cc was horrified at the cost of the generator and two extension cords. I have to repay him somehow. Hopefully, FEMA will help enough to relieve the burden for both of us.

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