Tornado devastation in Illinois on Sunday hit very close to home for Grati (literally), November 18, 2013 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #472)

The tornadoes that ripped through Illinois and the Midwest yesterday (Sunday, Nov. 17, 2013) hit very close to home–about 30 miles West of us in Washington, Illinois.  My thoughts and prayers are with those who lost their homes or their loved ones.

My husband and I hunkered down in our home Sunday morning after golf ball (see my hubby’s picture) and larger DSC01615--size of first batch of hail stones Nov1713sized (the biggest we found was three inches) hail started hitting the roof of our one story home with big thuds–even donning bicycle helmuts as added protection.  Happily no hail stones hit windows.  Our phone and internet went out again early last evening, hence the reason why this post is publishing late.  From what we can tell so far, our town just has downed power lines with power outages, downed trees, debris from  wind blow outs, and such.  We were lucky, very lucky.

The same cannot be said for those in Washington, Illinois:
http://gma.yahoo.com/least-6-dead-illinois-tornadoes-storms-damage-homes-061534702–abc-news-topstories.html

We plan to donate funds to the Red Cross and to donate our blood as one way of helping those in need.

Here is the Red Cross  U.S. link if you feel so inclined–you may also donate on the Red redcross-logoCross site to help those devastated by the typhoon in the Philippines:

http://www.redcross.org/

And listed below is Michaela Servetus’ post with links for other places to donate toward the Philippines relief efforts:
http://meandrichard.wordpress.com/2013/11/12/the-philippines-again/

Keep safe everyone, hug each other a little tighter, and please keep those in the disaster areas in Illinois and in the Philippines in your thoughts and prayers.

Nov. 18, 2013–Update:
I found out this morning when I got to my office at the university, that one of our recent graduates narrowly escaped being a casualty when the tornado flattened his apartment building–and he was caught in his 3rd floor apartment when the tornado hit without warning. He ran to his bathroom and crouched down in the tub. The building collapsed around him and he “rode” down to the ground in the tub. He had to climb out from under debris with scrapes and bruises. But amazingly, he lived to tell the tale. He lost everything and our department is taking up a collection for him from all of us.

We’re glad that he is safe.  But it really brings home the personal human cost of devastating weather storms like tornadoes, hurricanes, typhoons, earthquakes, etc.  He has lost everything and is staying with another of our graduates in the area.  But he is alive.  Things are replaceable, people are not.  Kudos to everyone from first responders to people who take others in or make donations to help those here and abroad who are suffering from loss.

P.S.  And may I add that hiding in one’s tub may not be the safest choice–it just happened to work for him.

So go to Red Cross tornado preparedness sites to find out how you can try to be safe in a tornado emergency:

http://www.redcross.org/prepare/disaster/tornado

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About Gratiana Lovelace

Gratiana Lovelace is my nom de plume for my creative writing and blogging. I write romantic stories in different sub genres. The stories just tumble out of me. My resurgence in creative writing occurred when I viewed the BBC miniseries of Elizabeth Gaskell's novel North & South in February 2010. The exquisitely talented British actor portraying the male lead John Thornton in North & South--Richard Crispin Armitage--became my unofficial muse. I have written over 50 script stories about love--some are fan fiction, but most are original stories--that I am just beginning to share with others on private writer sites, and here on my blog. And as you know, my blog here is also relatively new--since August 2011. But, I'm having fun and I hope you enjoy reading my blog essays and my stories. Cheers! Grati ;-> upd 12/18/11
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30 Responses to Tornado devastation in Illinois on Sunday hit very close to home for Grati (literally), November 18, 2013 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #472)

  1. Thank goodness that you and your husband remain safe. I send my love and prayers to those in need at this time.

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  2. Traxy says:

    So glad to hear you’re safe, Gratiana. You have some crazy dangerous weather over there. :(

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  3. fitzg says:

    Yes, thank goodness you were safe! There has been such freak weather worldwide – including the major floods in England and the Continent recently. North America is vast, and many cyclone/tornado systems in the past have become more intense in recent years.

    It used to be said that the U.S. received its Arctic weather/storms from Canada; now we receive our storms from the U.S. Mid-West! :D

    I hope that is it for Illinois, Grati, enough is enough for you! Stay safe!

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    • Hi Fitzg,
      Thanks for your nice note. The world’s weather systems do seem to be ramping up in the cataclysmic proportions realm in recent years. Though the Spring to Fall/Autumn is the most likely time for tornados, any time there are high winds there have been tornados–even in January. And sorry for exporting our weather to you up in Canada. ;-<
      Hugs! Grati

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  4. Nov. 18, 2013–By the way, it was a personal choice on my part not to put a picture up of the neighborhood areas flattened by the tornadoes. You will see plenty of those images elsewhere. But some people died in some of those areas–and others have lost everything else. So I just couldn’t show them.

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  5. Nov. 18, 2013–Scheduling Note:

    “N&S: John Thornton’s Love Lessons,” Ch. 6 will post tomorrow/Tuesday.

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  6. Nov. 18, 2013–Another personal story of the devastation:

    We found out this morning that one of our recent grads was caught in his 3rd floor apartment when the tornado hit without warning. He ran to his bathroom and crouched down in the tub. The building collapsed around him and he “rode” down to the ground in the tub. He had to climb out from under debris with scrapes and bruises. But amazingly, he lived to tell the tale. He lost everything and our department is taking up a collection for him from all of us.

    Like

  7. Servetus says:

    Glad you’re okay.

    Like

  8. Servetus says:

    Reblogged this on Me + Richard Armitage and commented:
    Grati was (just) missed by the severe storms yesterday, but people could use our help. She offers links to ways to help at her blog.

    Like

  9. Peggy Kincaid says:

    Glad you are safe and that most others survived as well even though the loss of property is devastating. We are constantly reminded of the power of Mother Nature. We pray for the people who didn’t make it and for those that did and I know that Americans will step up to help as much as they can.

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    • Hi Peggy,
      Thanks for your nice note. Our town was mostly hit with down drafts snapping power poles and lines–10 inches around!–and causing power outages and some wind damage. But in Washington, IL 30 miles to the West of us, that is where the devastation occurred–and where our student nearly lost his life. Mother Nature is scary and something to be respected.

      And as to another way help others in need, my hubby has a co-worker with a cousin and his wife who lost everything in the tornadoes. And as it happens they’re quite chubby–not the usual size that disaster relief clothing comes in. But my hubby and I are chubby. So when we got home, we combed through our bigger and gently used but rarely worn clothing–since we both have lost quite a bit of weight–and we’ve washed them again (mostly to get the wrinkles out from the clothes being in drawers) and folded them for my hubby to take into his co-worker for his cousin and his wife. I even had three bras still in their boxes for her that I had never worn. I like knowing that we’re helping other people have some of the basics of everyday life, like clothing to wear.

      Hugs! Grati

      Like

  10. lamaruca says:

    The devastation and loss of life is so heart-wrenching. As soon as we found out about the storms we tried to reach my baby sister who lives in Chicago, IL. We finally reached her this morning. Apart from heavy storms, damaging winds and loud sirens. My.heart and prayers go out to everyone affected. So glad you and hubby are okay.

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    • HI Lamaruca,
      Thanks for your nice note. Glad that your baby sister is okay, too! You just don’t expect these kinds of storms after the snow season starts. But obviously, it happens! So preparedness is key.
      Hugs! Grati

      Like

  11. katie70 says:

    I am glad to hear you are ok. Mr. 70 called his 92 year old aunt who lives near Chicago and she is fine along with the rest of the family in the area.

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    • Hi Katie70,
      Glad that your family is alright–especially your aunt. We have cousins who were in towns that had directs tornado hits, but they were spared. Whew!

      When I drove my hubby to work this morning, there was a series of three sections of power line poles snapped in two (these were 10 inch poles) and the power lines either dangling because they had broken apart, or the power lines were dragging on the ground since there were no poles to hold them up. I think Ameren’s autoline said 33,000 customers were without power–including some colleagues in my town who were out for twelve hours. Our power flickered on and off for a while in the morning and early afternoon, but stayed on (unusual for us, because storms usually take out the power to our area)–it was our phone and internet that was down last night due to the high winds. And from looking from the ground, our roof on our 1 story home looks okay–despite the loud bangs from hail stone hits. I thought for sure one of those got through. But until it rains and water starts trickling in, we’re not going to know.
      Hugs! Grati

      Like

  12. Reblogged this on The Arkenstone Blog and commented:
    Arkenstone and Orcrist’s thoughts are with all those in Illinois and the Midwest. With our children and new granddaughter in Chicago we were watching closely. Make sure you check in with family and friends so we know you’re safe. If you need help checking with family and friends let bloggers know, they can always put names up on boards….

    Like

    • Hi Arkenstone,
      Thanks for your note and reblog. I’m glad that your kids and grandchild are safe and well.

      Putting up names on blogs or facebook–if you’re trying to check how people are doing–is a great idea. But you might want to use only the first names and last initials of your family/friends that you’re trying to find.

      Unfortunately, during times of disasters, fraudsters try to take advantage of people in a vulnerable situation. And you don’t want to give the criminals any information that might compromise your friends or family–such as those caught in storms thinking that the con person contacting them is from their family member because he/she has their name. Just call me a cautious soul.

      Hugs! Grati

      Like

  13. Ania says:

    I’m glad you and your husband are safe.

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  14. judiang says:

    Yikes! Glad and your family are okay Grati.

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  15. Nov. 24, 2013–And here is my hubby’s account of that day and relief efforts since:

    http://midlifecyclistblog.wordpress.com/2013/11/24/giving-thanks-11-23-13-mlcb-post-20/

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