|Tornado passing by the front of our house about 3 miles away.|
We had been watching a line of storms moving across the middle of the U.S. for the past few days and the local media had told us that it would most likely come through our area on Saturday afternoon or evening, and this is one of those times they totally got it right. Here at our studio and home we spent the first half of the day completing a few orders, shipping and picking up supplies for the week ahead plus getting something for dinner from our favorite grocery store in Greenville, Fresh Fields for the evening ahead since we knew we might be kept in by the storm.
|A downed power line we encountered on our way to see the tornado aftermath.|
It moved quite quickly across our eastern horizon. About the speed of a quick moving cloud. No sound, hardly any lightening or thunder either. I called to my family who were indoors to come out and see it. My daughter came out first, then Susan, our son was in route coming home from work in Goldsboro. We were worried about him too. In about 5 to 8 minutes, the tornado managed to move across the horizon and finally out of sight to our northeast. By now we had lost power for about an hour. When it came back on we started watching local news to see what they were reporting.
|Andy's Restaurant on Monday after the tornado.|
The four of us all piled into our Blazzer that I had parked in one of our barns which I never do unless a storm is eminent. We pulled out and headed south on highway 58. As we got down to Route 13 the local sheriff had a roadblock so we had to take a roundabout way around our town to get near the impact area. We had to weave all around many back roads to get into town. Along the way we were traveling down one particular road when we came across a downed power line. As we drove over it we passed a wooded lot that had been stripped of it's leaves and many large trees were on the ground or snapped in half about 10 feet up their trunks. In the distance what looked like a barn was totally flatted. We then drove just 100 feet further and saw a very old large house that had half of its roof torn off. There were many cars and people that had arrived on the scene to help these residents.
|One of the houses near Green Co. High School, many of these homeowners suffered considerable property damage.|
We then decided to go the the middle-school and see the damage there. We easily passed through a police roadblock and made our way to the school. I noticed that I had a low fuel light so we made what I thought would be a quick fuel stop. It turned into a 20 minute ordeal since credit card machines were not working making everyone get cash first. Finally, we went on towards the school but never made it, as we got close police roadblocks were set up which turned us back. Along the way however, we saw many homes with downed trees and damaged roofs.
|This home just of of Route 58 in Snow Hill was lifted from its foundation and moved about 100 feet. The homeowner rode the storm out in her bathroom thinking how painful it was going to be to die, she was on the local news.|
At the time of this posting there have been 30 deaths and many more injuries by this line of deadly tornadoes that hit North Carolina Saturday night. The cost of the devastation is still being tallied. In our town of Snow Hill officials estimate the damage to be over 7 million dollars. I've seen pictures of the damage to our middle school and I believe that it alone would be over 7 million dollars to repair so I'm sure these numbers will rise in the days to come.
School has been cancelled for this week in Green County and Spring Break was scheduled for next week giving the local children a two week vacation. Which works out pretty good because it will take some time to sort things out here in our little town of Snow Hill. Our hearts and thoughts go out to all the unfortunate folks all over North Carolina who've been touched by this terrible spring storm of 2011.