Bowling Green, KY Tornado: Situation Report #1
As you walk through the neighborhoods you see the strange reality of tornados. One house will be missing its entire second floor and the next house doesn’t have a single shingle gone. There will be telephone poles laying across the road and huge oak trees snapped like twigs, but a small crate myrtle barely touched, standing there as if nothing happened. It’s this kind of “precision” of a tornado that still boggles the mind of those that study these things.
Homeowners we spoke with shared a common story of being awakened by weather radios and storm sirens moments before hearing the sound of the tornado bearing down on them.
One couple shared that they had about 30 seconds from the time they got out of bed, grabbed their dogs, and got to the basement before the EF3 tornado hit their home. Their neighbor across the street told us that he and his wife felt the pressure from the wind on their eardrums as they heard windows breaking and what resembled gunfire. He later realized the gunfire sound was all the debris slamming into their home.
“Thank goodness we made it to the basement,” he said, understanding the severity of this particular storm.
The stories are similar as we continue to speak with homeowners. There is a sense of relief that though their house and belongings are gone, or damaged, they are alive, and their neighbors are too.
In response to this tragic devastation, Hope Force International Reservists are converging from all across the country to provide help and inspire hope in the lives of survivors. As new storms are predicted to hit the area within the next few days, our focus is on tarping roofs so as to prevent further damage, thus sparing homeowners the pain of further loss. Simultaneously, survivors are receiving much needed emotional and spiritual care, a listening ear, a safe place to share their struggles and grief.
This ministry of presence, just being there, with survivors is one of the most significant aspects of Hope Force ministry during these times. As more reservists arrive today we will continue to spread the care deeper into the neighborhoods impacted by this storm.
As we join together in prayer for this community, would you also prayerfully consider your participation in this deployment? For some it means getting in the car or on the plane to travel here. For others it may be a time to financially contribute to the relief efforts.