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Devastation in Southern Illinois

Posted by cloudydaze on May 26, 2009, at 23:07:59

Southern illinois was hit by what I call (and many others are calling) an "inland Hurricane". This is not the actual scientific term for it (actually there is argument over WHAT it was) but it pretty much sums up the feeling of the storm. It had an eye, and looked on the radar LIKE a hurricane!

Around 1:30pm friday, may 8th, the storm hit carbondale. I was 30 mins from the end of my shift at the Coffee shop, and we got notice that the tornado sirens were going off and to close up shop and seek shelter. So I closed the gate and headed to the storm shelter hallway. Just before we got the gate down, the power went off.

Once I got to the shelter, I heard the wind pick up, and you could literally hear parts of the roof coming off. I have never heard anything like it in my life. Apparently we had winds up to 106mph (maybe more).

This lasted about 30-45 minutes, and finally died down. When they finally let people go outside the mall, it was just total chaos everywhere. Trees were UPROOTED - big trees. Buildings were damaged, trees were on top of buildings and homes, power lines were down (lots of them) and apparently power stations were destroyed.

There was NO power in at least 3 counties for several days. My house went without power for almost 6 full days.

Jackson, Franklin, and Williamson County were declared disaster areas (I'm in Jackson).

I feel blessed that no one I know was hurt, and that our home remains intact. Also very happy to have a gas stove and water heater!

Its going to take us awhile to clean up the mess from this disaster, but I am SO proud of my Southern Illinois for coming together and helping each other out! There have been people helping people everywhere!

Thanks to SIUC for having free meals on campus! They fed AT LEAST 14,000 people for free. Also thank you to the River Radio Stations for their 24 hour coverage of the aftermath of the storm. That had been our only source of information, and we greatly appreciated it!

On the upside, the stars were beautiful when there are no lights in the town! But I think the 8 or 9 pm curfew was a little much...

This was a crazy ordeal, and made for an interesting mothers day weekend!




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