Sunday, May 10, 2009

"Inland Hurricane" hits Southern Illinois

I know I haven't been around the past couple of days and I wanted to take a moment to let you all know why. I headed to Marion Friday morning to have my shopping day. Marion is about 20 miles from where I live. I made it to Target and got a few great deals at Walmart then went to stop by my sisters apartment.

We knew there was a storm coming but hadn't quite realized the magnitude. I was supposed to meet my hubby at work at 12:15 to head to lunch but when I stopped to get gas at about 11:30 the sky was so crazy. I had never seen it look the way it did I can't even describe it. I was terrified as I finished pumping my gas. I called hubby and he said he couldn't leave as he is part of the rescue team at work. So I decided to get on the interstate and get home because my girls were 20 miles away.

Thankfully I got right behind a semi as soon as I got on the interstate or I would have never made it home. About 5 minutes into my drive rain and wind were so heavy that I had almost zero visibility. I could not see the road, all I could see were the little red lights on the back of the semi. All the way home I prayed and cried. Driving only about 35 miles an hour that 20 mile drive seemed to take forever.

I finally got home and turned on the news and oddly enough the storm had calmed to almost nothing. But in a short amount of time a portion of it had whipped around and started going through the same area again. This time it was worse. It produced up to 106 mile an hour straight winds.

In the town I had just left it uprooted trees left and right, knocked over power lines, tore off roofs and left the town in a shambles and a 96% blackout.

My hubby was in that town and so was my sister! My sister and her 4 little one 5 and under were stuck in their apartment and 4 trees had came down on their roof. Thank God that no one was injured! My hubby was stuck in the mall for about an hour, shaken up but thankfully safe.

Thankfully our town got very little damage, we had lots of rain and wind but we have power. Right now my sister and her family are staying with us. Their apartment complex is severely damaged with uprooted trees and power lines.

I thank God that all of my family is safe and that during this whole mess they have only reported 1 death in 3 counties.