Perryville Tornado Relief

On February 28, 2017, an EF-4 tornado destroyed homes and killed one person in Perryville, Missouri. The major highway of I-55 was closed because vehicles had been blown off the highway as well as cars at a nearby salvage yard which were picked up and thrown onto the highway. One of the drivers on the highway was the one killed and he was only 24, which clenches the heart with sadness.

Many people showed up to help the weekend thereafter from across the country and as I watched on the news, I wondered how many would return to help weeks later or if the victims would feel abandoned without care. I was happy when I read our church had planned a trip to help 2 1/2 weeks later on March 18 and 25.

This is the photo of the couple who we helped.  He is 85 and she is 6 months younger. They were in the house when the tornado hit heading to the basement.  She told me that she stepped onto the third step and then her husband told her to stop because it was over, that fast. Their daughter told me that had they had gone down any further, they may have been hurt.  The basement was only underground on the front side of the house while the back side was exposed, where a larger window was located that had blown out. Debris was swirling around the basement as they were walking down the steps. I believe there was paneling that divided the room that was no longer there.

In addition, the large tree next to the carport had fallen on the house directly behind him. He told me that he believes the tree on the house was what kept the house from blowing way, only loosing it's roof. I wonder about that tree because we read sometimes of trees falling on houses and killing people, but this tree instead served a positive purpose. He told me he felt something pull upward on his back, which would have been the winds beginning to pull him up, but it quit.

It really makes you stop and think about the greatness of God to protect even in the most horrible of times. It's one of those stories where you know if they had been a few steps forward or a few steps back, the outcome might have been different.

I think about our neighbor's tree that we are constantly afraid of it falling on our house during a storm, even asking the last 3 owners to cut it down, even offering to help pay the cost, only for it to remain a hovering threat. It gives me comfort to realize that God is in control.

This is hubby.  This fire pit is as deep as it is high. This photo does not show its enormity.  The rectangle pit was at least 12 feet deep.  Volunteers, as well as the volunteers with the heavy equipment, were piling on all day long.

This is the owners' son up in a tree trying to get this piece of metal to break free and fall.

The flag in the living room was photogenic.  I tried to get some photos of it from the inside out, but I liked this photo best.

One of the two trees still standing next to the house.  It looks as if it has been snapped in half at the top.  You can see the remains of the trees between this big tree and the house that fell on the house.  Being weeks later there has already been a lot of progress on cleanup, but it was still moving of the soul.

Debris hung in trees even still.  The houses in the background were damaged and it is their debris that is in the trees.

This photo speaks for itself.

We worked down in the woods where the trees were tossed and debris littered. 
I like this photo because you can see the two trees colliding and ripped, as well as the people working together to carry out a piece of the roof.

What was amazing to me as I reflected was that although there were only about 30 volunteers, these people had come literally from across the world to help. We were there from Cape Girardeau and I met people from St. Louis, as well as the international exchange students who came with us. Two of the young men were from Sri Lanka and there were two ladies from other countries. Psalm 133:1 "How good and pleasant it is when God's people live together in unity!"

I told one lady that it was unfortunate we would never meet again to which she answered "see you in heaven!" as she left.
This also speaks for itself.

This shows the same view as above, but before the pit was filled.

This shows how difficult it was to even get into the twisted woods.
This is a bedroom.

The local news came by to interview.  I always love turning the tables on them and taking photos of them. I'm always thankful at the hard work and coverage which is put forth by KFVS12.   I was in the background of one of the scenes.


Tammy said…
So sad. Glad you got to help. Great photos.

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