Hi, how was your weekend?
Saturday was my nephew, Jack’s first birthday! Hard to believe how fast time flies.
As I mentioned earlier, we went to Smithville on Saturday to help with the clean-up effort. That town is still a blessed mess and there is a lot of work to do. The only problem is, the government got involved and so, as you can imagine, nothing is getting done. We helped the city clean up a community center and then they turned us away because the FEMA, MEMA, and the Army Corps of Engineers said nothing can be touched unless their contractors do it. So, everything is still a giant mess. They rolled into town with their big-rig RVs, gave homeowners 30 days to get their personal belongings out and get everything pushed into piles by the street and then they’ll come in and then everything is turned over to them. But, insurance adjusters still need to get out there and they’re just as bad to work with as the government. I feel so bad for this town – the government involvement has really made everything so unorganized. Many homeowners just threw their hands up, and bailed. And another thing – if you want to donate to a disaster relief fund to directly help Smithville, do not go through the American Red Cross. They have already left Smithville and any money you donate will go to the Red Cross general fund, which is fine, but if you want to help Smithville directly, go down and help, or go here.
Anyway, we drove past a couple who was tackling a giant pecan tree that had literally tipped over out of the ground into their horse pasture. Had the tree fallen any other direction, there would have been major property damage. These people were lucky. We stopped and told them we had driven down to help and got turned away and do they want any help? We brought a chainsaw! They really nice folks and greatly appreciated our help. We were so excited that someone would let us help, we ended up thanking them as much as they thanked us!! Within about 4-5 hours we had most of the tree cut up and divided into three piles to burn. The trunk of the tree was so enormous, there was no way our equipment could handle it so they’re going to hire the rest to be cleaned up. I didn’t take any pictures because I didn’t want to insult the homeowners…but this tree was HUGE. Two days later, our arms are still aching! We called ourselves the Tree Loggers of Mississippi and considered calling the History Channel to see if they would like to make a show, but nixed the idea in the bud for the lack of drama.
The couple told us a lot of stories about the day the storm hit. The storm was so strong, it literally ripped the clothing off of people. My goodness, at least give them their dignity, you know? The storm tore off half of a woman’s face. One man was thrown off of his motorcycle into a field. He was badly injured and the bike was crumpled up and unrecognizable, but he survived. Two young girls were home alone when the storm hit and hid in the hall closet. When the storm was over, they came out without a scratch and found the only part of their house still standing was the hallway. We saw the house. Others were less fortunate, I heard that close to 20 people did not survive the storm. My heart goes out to this community. I’ve never seen anything like it.
The video below (I found it on YouTube) shows a lot of the damage in the town and, to be honest with you, the town still looks like that today. The storm hit on April 27. You can see the community center we helped clean up under the water tower.
While we were working under the water tower, someone pointed out a big dent in the dome toward the top. Turns out a car had been thrown up that high and smashed into the water tower. The only reason they know this is because they found a car with the blue paint on it. This was one nasty storm.
So, I had intended to post this on Saturday. I had it all typed up and everything, but I forgot to publish it (oops) so I had to go back in and change ‘yesterday’ to ‘Saturday’ and all that good editing stuff. Sorry, if I missed anything! Anyway, I’ll most likely be back later today with another post about some great bargain shopping I did this weekend! See you then!