Close Calls

The last few weeks have been rough. That's saying the least. I am weak, sore, utterly exhausted, sleep deprived and have been nauseous everyday for at least a week. No I'm not pregnant, although those are some common symptoms, but stress has dropped it's atom bomb effects on me. Over the last several weeks we have had two mining tragedies, the one in West Virgina, (you can find my previous post about it here) and one here in our own Bluegrass. It was one thing to step back and look at your life when something so tragic happens in another state, out of sight but once it happens to one of "your own" it seems even more heart wrenching. No less sympathy for the W.V. tragedy..because that week was very emotional for me, but it is just different. That's all I can say.

The recent misfortune was at Dotiki Mines in Nebo, KY. My husband has several family members who work there including a brother-in-law, two cousins and an uncle. Also one of my old high school friend's husband works there as well and my cousin's husband is a boss there. The cause of the two deaths that occured was a rock fall, which happened around 10 PM Wednesday, April 28th. Needless to say I was up until nearly 3:30 AM trying to make sure that all of our family was safe. It was hard going to bed that night since my husband was at work himself. All I wanted was to hear his voice, to tell him that I was upset so that he could comfort me. My stomach churned as I thought of the two men trapped down in the dark, dusty hole. My son came to bed with me a while and we snuggled and prayed for the men, their safety and Daddy's return home.

We spent all that night and most of the next day in suspense on whether this would be a rescue or a recovery. We all wished, hoped and prayed for a rescue. I noticed that on facebook there was a group created called "Moment of Silence for Dotiki Coal Miners", which I joined, and to see how far that page went and how many cities in not only this but other states and even further to other countries! Prayers and thoughts pouring in for the families of Justin Travis and Michael Carter R.I.P. That just gives you a feeling of warmth and assuredness..that there are people in the world who still care, people who empathize with you and keep you in their thoughts. It's calming and it just re-assures that not all mankind is bad.

Two days after that happened on Friday night I was up until 5 AM watching the weather channel as storms rolled through our county one after the other. When I was sure we were in the clear and all warnings and watches were lifted I went to bed. Then, the next night brought the night before's weather but multiplied by a thousand. Jon and I went to bed at 12 AM, from then until 2 AM our weather alert radio went off several times. Jon turned it off repeatedly because each time it sounded there was no thunder, no lightning and barley any rain so we assumed it was flood warnings or just exaggerated thudnerstorm warnings. But the last time it went off around 2 something coaxed me out of bed...I went into our living room and turned it to News 25 where I find the weatherman talking about unconfirmed tornadoes and funnels and clouds ...

My mind was twisted and having a hard time comprehending what was going on. The final weather radio alert went off and since Jon noticed I wasn't next to him he turned it on..Next thing I know he's in here saying that they advised that people who live in Hopkins County who resided in a mobile home to evacuate immediately. So we grabbed our son and ran across the yard to my parent's house next door for safer shelter. We waited anxiously for the next move of the numerous cells and storms that were beating their way through Western Kentucky. Finally, at around 2:50 the weather took a change for the worst, the weatherman said there was something trying to form between Nortonville and Crofton, exactly where we are. My stomach dropped and went into knots.

So me, Dillon, Emily and my Mom piled into the back corner of their laundry room, behind the washer and dryer covered in couch cushins, pillows and blankets...Jon and my Dad stood out on the carport looking for signs of danger...I couldn't speak, my stomach was aching and I thought I might puke. So I did all I could do, held my son and sister tight and prayed, prayed that God lay His mighty hand over us and bring us out of this, ALL of us who may be in the line of this danger. Next thing we know the rain started pounding the rooftops, wind started blowing the trees over on their sides and it was raining sideways...lighting was flashing and thunder was popping and roaring so loud that it was shaking the house. My Dad and Jon came in and for about 30 seconds we listened to a terrible low rumbling noise and the wind whistled. My eyes were closed and my son was buried in my chest.

Then...it was over. The rain slowed with the wind and the noise of the thunder. After we felt it calm enough we got up and went back to the Tv, which had been knocked out of signal for that time we were under cover. We listened to hear that there was in fact a confirmed tornado in White Plains, we just didn't know where..Then we got phone calls from family to confirm that we were alright, which felt good. Finally we got back home and in bed at about 5 AM (once again). Then we woke this morning to find the light brought with it the unseen that we never thought the previous night/morning.

I looked out our living room window to see debris spread all over my Uncle's field back behind our lot. I wondered what it was from and couldn't see from where I was. So Jon and I walked out to find that the barn on my Uncle's property was destroyed, it was old and has been standing there as long as I could remeber..it was twisted and mamed from the tornado that touched down the night before. Our cousins have a mobile home on either side of that barn, one was vacant and was the one they lived in before their current one. It took me a minute but I realized that the WHOLE trailer was gone after a second. It was torn into pieces. I then thought Oh Dear Lord, that tornado took that trailer and tore up that barn but it left the trailer my cousins were actually in mere hours ago. It did do damage, moving it off it's foundation, busting some windows and pulling off an exterior wall.

God had his hand on them protecting them, protecting us all. The same tornado proceeded to Manningto where it damaged two other mobile homes and tore down numerous trees, but as far as I'm aware no one was hurt and we are thankful as a community for that. I am including some pictures below of the damage we came across today. There was major flooding in places throughout White Plains, Mannington and Nortnville. A few roads were closed due to the levels of the water. How eerie it felt for me to see that that dangerous tornado had touched down and left it's mark not even a mile from where we were. And we didn't even KNOW it had until the light of day...I hope that God stays with my cousins, Donna, Larry and their son Vincent. They are all shook up and terrified from the experience as would we all be. I didn't even want to be here by myself tonight after Jon went back to work. It was a close call and I am glad that we all came out safe and unharmed and with a new appretiation to God Almighty. May he be with us always. Amen.

Don't tell

God how big

your storm is.

Tell the storm

How big your GOD is!!

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