......passed over North Carolina yesterday afternoon.
At 3:15 PM we ran to the cars and drove them away from the cottage to park in an underground deck at our nearby shopping center. A huge shadow hung from the sky, ever darkening as the wind gained strength. The 'watch' had turned to 'warning, usually only heard when hurricanes threaten late in Summer or early Fall. They have come inland and caused us devastation in the past. This time, the first since 1988, a tornado was on the way, already causing devastation to the west of us and headed on a path to take it right through Raleigh.
The shadow turned into a funnel, demolishing a Lowe's home improvement store in Sanford. The 50 employees, and another 50 customers, raced to the break rooms in the rear. Thankfully nobody was killed as the roof was ripped off and the entire store appears as if it exploded. Many businesses and homes south of here are lost. Then, just a couple of miles from our home, it ripped through a mobile home park, killing at least three, two of them children according to the local news. (Edited 4-18-11: Now known, sadly all 3 of these deaths were young children). It ravaged so many small towns along its way, whole strips of shops and businesses, farming communities and neighborhoods.
Spring is not always gentle, it can be a cruel season.
This beautiful Sunday morning arrived with bright sunshine, hardly a breeze, temperatures climbing. We have just cleaned up our debris, mostly small branches, twigs and leaves.......fortunate our work is minimal compared to many others. Our hearts go out to those who have lost loved ones, are perhaps injured, or have lost their homes and possessions. Please remember them in your thoughts and prayers, thank you.