Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Thomas County Tornado Damage Assesment

You know... I have seen on television, the devastation of an EF5 tornado such as when 95% of Greensburg, KS was destroyed in May 2007 by a 1 1/2 mile wide EF5 wedge tornado, which stole 11 lives, and the near total destruction seen in Parkersburg, IA, where the 1/2 mile wide EF5 wedge tornado stole the lives of 7 people. I have seen the utter catastrophic devastation left by Hurricanes Andrew, Katrina and Ike... on video, in pictures, but nothing can fully prepare you for seeing it first-hand. Nothing can truly prepare you for that human element that you experience when you look around at the faces of the family, whose home has been destroyed, and they have no idea what to do. Their expressions summarize a feeling of utter confusion and helplessness. The overwhelming appearance of the scene is staggering. Nothing can prepare you for a 300-400 yard wide swath of destruction just mere feet from a lonely house on a hill, demonstrating God's merciful grace, as His hand clearly worked as a shield protecting the lives of those in Thomas county on this fateful February 19, 2009. Rick, Meso Mike and I went into Thomas county Saturday afternoon to survey the damage in both Boston, GA (yes, there is a Boston, GA) and Thomasville, GA. The report from the National Weather Service in Tallahassee had mentioned that they had upgraded the tornado that dropped in Boston to an EF3 after surveying the damage on Salem Road, where bark was literally ripped off the trees in the path of this monstrous beast. The above slideshow is a sampling of what we saw while we explored some of the area.

For more details regarding the damage assessment, check out my Boston tornado post and my Thomasville tornado post. Both include a comprehensive analysis of where we were and what we saw, plus commentary. It was a humbling and surreal experience. I hate night events.



Rick said...

Great slide show there Dew..You don't forget days like this..

Beth Niquette said...

Wonderful, informative. Like I said, a tornado is not something I would ever want to encounter face to face.