Sunday, June 03, 2007

The Tornado

Hi everyone. I wanted to write to let you know that I am OK.

If you don't already know, a big tornado hit Louisa and Muscatine counties on Friday, June 1.

I was with my brother and sister at my grandparent's house near Fruitland. My grandpa saw the tornado coming and told everyone to get to the basement. I saw the tornado while we were running for the basement. I was REALLY scared....more scared than I have ever been on my many adventures around the world. I was afraid my family would end up flat like me and blow away.

But the tornado didn't hit my grandparent's house. My Aunt Lynn's house is also safe. My house is also still standing, but there are lots of tree branches and puffy stuff in the yard. My Aunt Lynn says the puffy stuff is insulation from the houses that were damaged.

Other people in the town near their house (Fruitland) were not so lucky. Lots of houses are damaged. Some just blew away entirely. The post office looks like a heap of metal. Some train cars were even blown off the railroad tracks. Some of the power poles snapped or fell down and I lost count of how many trees have been damaged. Some people were injured, but Aunt Lynn tells me they are going to be OK. I am so glad! But I feel very sad for the people who lost their homes. My family is helping as many people as they can by bringing food and helping to clean up the mess.

The damage reminds me of some of the destroyed houses I saw on my trip to Aceh, Indonesia with my friend Kristin. I had no idea a large ocean wave could do so much damage until I was in Aceh. And I had no idea a tornado could do so much damage until Friday.

I don't have any photos of the tornado. I was too busy trying to get to a safe place! But Aunt Lynn says there are lots of photos on the internet if you want to see what the storm did.

On Saturday, I started to worry about my friends Kristin and Keith. They live in Muscatine and the tornado hit there too. Kristin called to tell me she is fine. She says there is damage a few blocks away from her house, but her house is fine.

Keith wasn't as lucky. He and his family were not injured. But his house was slightly damaged. His house is still standing, but some of the roof shingles and window trim blew away. He told Kristin there is also a hole in his house's deck where a tree hit and there is a small tree branch that is stuck into the siding on one side of his house. He also told Kristin that most of the trees in his back yard were smashed by the tornado. I am sure Keith is worried about his house, but I am glad he is safe.

We have had some storms since the tornado and now I get really scared when I hear thunder. My Aunt Lynn tells me it is OK to be scared. She says she gets scared too. She says the most important thing to remember is to find a safe place (like a basement) if a bad storm is coming. She is right!

Thanks to everyone who sent messages to see if we were OK. I am sure I am going to remember the tornado for the rest of my life. The last few days have been a big adventure. But I sure hope I don't have this adventure ever again!