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Thursday, March 01, 2007

Tornadoes and a Dark Night



Here in Camilla, we are always fearful when we have weather like this. Warm air in winter. Gusts that smell like seawater. Swirling black clouds. We had three tornadoes devastate our city on February 14, 2000 and 14 people were killed. My husband and I led the volunteer command center to help rebuild and didn't sleep for two weeks. It felt like we were in a war. Everyone was marred. Especially the children.

Now, we live through it again and our friends closeby in Americus, Georgia have been hit. We are listening to the news and the hospital, ambulance center, and emergency operations area in downtown Americus have been hit. Many people cannot be found. There is gridlock in Americus with people looking for others. It is still raining. There is still a warning. We have a long night. People are wandering to the hospital and finding it is not there.

My former pastor had his house destroyed when he lived here in Camilla. After he rebuilt, he moved.... to Americus.

We wait to hear about our friends and to see how we can help. We've been there. I'll keep you posted with what you can do.

Unfortunately, when this happened in Camilla, the Red Cross raised money in the millions and only disbursed a small fraction of that to help local families. They were the last ones here and the first ones out and many people didn't get help. The best organizations in the Camilla tornado were the Salvation Army, the Georgia Baptist Disaster Relief, Samaritan's Purse, local churches, local law enforcement, our command center, the Rotary Club, the schools, and the Mennonites Builders. Habitat for Humanity did some good also. Their headquarters is there in Americus.

I'll let you know, but if you're awake and a praying person, pray for our area tonight. Those who have been through it before have flashbacks. Those who are going through it are in a living hell. There is no other way to describe it.

When we had our problems, buses of people came and helped clean up. People sent bottled water and canned food.

I will keep you posted. I know that our school will be collecting, we always do. There is a large school up there that is in our region. Pray through the night and we will be there for our friends in the morning, to cry with them, love them, and most of all to provide for them.

I'll keep you posted.

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