Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Butler County, Missouri in Aftermath of Tornado

The stories and photographs of the tornadoes which occurred yesterday from Mississippi up through Tennessee remind me of 1974 in southern Indiana in the aftermath of my parents' home being destroyed by one of 99 tornadoes that struck the United States that day. It was a strange time. I was home on spring break from college; had slept very late that day. Later, the chimney landed in my bed. I hadn't been out of it for more than a few hours. We lived in a trailer provided by the government for that summer, and probably beyond that. We had army blankets, too.
We had a make-shift toilet which consisted of a large trash can filled with water and liquid bleach. We sat in front of our neighbor's gas fireplace for light and warmth in the evenings immediately following the storm. Moving around the college campus (we lived on the Hanover College campus overlooking the Ohio River) was dangerous - so many powerlines were down, so many limbs and large trees fallen. I got to go back to school at the end of the week, but my parents had to continue to deal with having their lives completely turned upside down.

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