Saturday, April 08, 2006

What a day for Sumner County

I was going to write about how my day went yesterday (from "middling" to "shot straight to hell") but that just doesn't matter anymore. In reality, the worst I experienced was being sent to the basement of the Allen County library because the tornado siren went off. While we were down there, someone mentioned that Gallatin had been hit but I didn't think much about it. In that situation, rumors fly through the air like excited little birds. Even after I got home, nothing was out of place - as if it were nothing more than a spring shower - but fifteen miles to the south, the folks in Gallatin and beyond had a much, much worse day.

(Rant Note to USA Today: Gallatin is not a suburb of Nashville. It is a city in its own right and the seat of Sumner County. Tennessee is not composed of just three major cities - Memphis, Nashville and Knoxville - and their "suburbs." Good. God. Where's your fact checker? /rant)

Channel 5's video of the destruction was, well, shocking. I was just there the day before, getting my groceries. The tornado went through the area of town that has seen a crazy amount of expansion these last few years. What shocked me the most was seeing the debris completely clogging Gallatin Road (hwy 31) - a five lane road - most which had come from the high priced subdivisions off Brown lane.

Then there was Vol State. It was a good thing it was a Friday. That's the slow day. What I understand, no one was seriously hurt. When I saw the damage to the health science building (only two years old,) the admin building (that they just renovated and expanded, no less) and all those trees down in the visitor parking, I couldn't believe it. I cried after I wondered if it would have been so damn hard for the videographer to walk to the other side of the health building to show whether the Fine Arts building survived.

Some folks around here are scrambling to help. The owner of the Bethpage Recyclers e-list is gathering things together for the folks who lost their homes. Food and shelter aren't the only things needed, though. Send plenty of prayers and strength too. These folks are going to need all they can get.

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