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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6 thoughts on “Tornadoes and a Dark Night

  1. My 7th graders and I will begin the morning with prayer. We will be in prayer for Americas. If there is any other way we should direct our prayers, please email me. The Skype probably won’t be on at school…..

  2. Thank you Karyn and Lisa,
    It was a long night with the worst of the cells passing over my house by 1:30 a.m. My husband kept watch and I fell asleep around midnight knowing he would wake us and get us into the closet if it hit.

    There are 8 deaths in Georgia – 6 of them in adjacent Baker County when two families in two trailers where hit. They have found 3 of the bodies and are searching the fields for the other three. It is so heartbreaking for destruction to come so quickly.

    I feel like I reenter the shock of it all when something like this happens. Perhaps this is why men who have been in battle are never the same. If a one time hit of three tornadoes in one night can leave all of us like this for the rest of our lives, what would years of battle do?

    I still see the dirty faces streaked with tears and the bloody open wounds that weren’t treated and the long lines of people getting tetanus shots.

    We are going to do some things here to help and I’ll let my readers know what they can do! Thank you for your concern!

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