Monday, April 25, 2011

Tornado in St.Louis, Missouri

He is risen indeed! Out of great love for us Christ died and rose. We sinners are blessed indeed as heaven is a guarantee for us. The next destination for John and I could very well have been heaven Friday evening. Many of you who live in St.Louis are well aware of the horrific storms which passed through this region that evening. John and I attended Good Friday services at Beautiful Savior Lutheran in Bridgeton. That church is quite dear to us as that was where our children were baptized and confirmed. Many of our friends still attend there. Friday evening, during the service, we heard warning tornado sirens and the lights started flickering. Foolishly we finished the service and did not go to the church's basement until after the worse of the storm had passed. During that time the tornado touched down to the west and east of the church.
 While in the church basement we spent some time catching up with the news of our friends, some of whom at that time were totally unaware that their homes were in the path of the storm. We arrived home safely and tried to locate our sister Julia and her husband Cal. Fortunately they had been in St.Peters shopping and were safe. However, it took them three hours to get home. The roads to their house were strewn with debris, downed power lines and trees. A tornado, with winds from 160 to 200 miles per hour, had cut a swath of destruction within several blocks of their home. Their home lacked power but was all right. It was a miracle that in the St.Louis area no one was killed by this storm. Somehow I see a message of hope here, and that was probably felt by this homeowner who carved a cross into a tree stump in his yard.
We took the above pictures while touring Julia's neighborhood Sunday afternoon. Julia commented that once this had been a heavily wooded area secluded from the noise and traffic of Highway 70. Now instead of looking out over sylvan beauty the residents of this area have to deal with the harsh reality of a denuded landscape.  However, I still find a message of hope as some trees were unscathed and the blossoms of the spring flowering trees did not blow off despite the strong winds.  Also, some homes did escape with only minor damage as you can see in the picture below.

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