Friday, March 21, 2008

THE TORNADO IN BRANCHVILLE (SC) MARCH 2008


AS I WAS STANDING IN THE CHECKOUT LINE IN THE DOLLAR GENERAL STORE LAST SATURDAY A LITTLE AFTER 7:00 pm, THE STORE'S LIGHTS WENT DARK, AND IT WAS ALMOST TOTALLY DARK OUTSIDE IN TERRIBLE WEATHER.

IN FACT, THERE WAS A TORNADO WATCH WHICH I HAD OBSERVED BEFORE GOING TO THE STORE.

THE POLICY OF THAT COMPANY IS THAT WHEN LIGHTS GO OUT, THE DOORS ARE LOCKED IN ORDER TO KEEP THOSE INSIDE THERE, AND TO KEEP OUT POTENTIAL LOOTERS.

SUDDENLY, THE STORE MANAGER, WHO HAD BEEN AT HOME MONITORING THE AREA WEATHER, ARRIVED AND UNLOCKED THE FRONT DOOR AND INSTRUCTED EVERYONE TO GET HOME AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE.

AS I STEPPED OUTSIDE THE STORE, I SAW THE WESTERN SKIES FILLED WITH THE DARKEST OF STORM CLOUDS, INCLUDING ONE VERY HIGH REACHING VERTICAL CLOUD.

IT WAS NO DOUBT THE ONE WHICH CONTAINED THE TORNADO.

I TRIED TO OUTRACE THE TORNADO.

BUT, IT ARRIVED AT MY HOME JUST SECONDS AFTER I DID.

THE SHRUBS AROUND MY HOME WERE BEING TWISTED QUICKLY INDICATING TORNADIC TYPE WINDS.

MY WIFE AND I FOUND REFUGE IN THE SAFEST PLACES IN THE HOME.

WE SUFFERED NO INJURIES.

UPON LOOKING OUTSIDE, OUR PROPERTY SUFFERED NO DAMAGE OF A SERIOUS NATURE.

I IMMEDIATELY BEGAN WALKING THE FIVE OR SIX BLOCKS TO THE HOME OF MY 93 YEAR OLD MOTHER-IN-LAW WHO LIVES ALONE.

BEFORE I ARRIVED AT HER HOME, I CAME UPON TORNADO DAMAGE.

"THE CHURN", A VERY POPULAR EATING PLACE IN TOWN WAS COMPLETLY DEMOLISHED.

SUDDENLY, THE RELIEF WHICH I HAD BEEN FEELING, WAS BEGINNING TO SLIP AWAY.

I SPED UP ON MY TRIP TO MY WIFE'S MOTHER.

HER HOUSE WAS TOTALLY DARK.

SHE WAS SITTING IN HER DEN ALONG WITH A THOUGHFUL NEIGHBOR WHO HAD COME TO HER AID.

MY NEXT CONCERNS WERE THE THREE STORES WHICH MY SON-IN-LAW OWNED DOWNTOWN.

ALL THERE WERE STILL THERE.

BUT, THE REAR OF THE SECOND FLOOR OF THE EATERY WAS GONE. SUCKED OUT BY THE TREMENDOUS TORNADIC FORCES WHICH STRUCK IT.

ONE OF THE VERY LARGE PLATE GLASS WINDOWS, AND A SMALLER ONE, WAS ALSO DESTROYED.

TWO METAL AWNINGS ON HIS HARDWARE STORE WERE BLOWN DOWN AND WRAPPED AROUND THE UTILITY POLE OUT FRONT OF THE TOWN'S BANK BUILDING NEXT DOOR.

AND THERE WERE STRESS FRACTURES EVIDENT ON THE SIDE OF THE HARDWARE STORE.

DIRECTLY ACROSS THE STREET FROM THOSE THREE BUILDINGS WAS THE BRANCHVILLE SOUTH CAROLINA TOWN HALL.

WELL, IT USED TO BE THERE.

IT WAS ABOUT 100 YEARS OLD, AND WAS TWO STORIES, AND OF VERY STRONG CONSTRUCTION -- IT'S WALLS WERE THREE BRICKS THICK.

THE ROOF HAD BEEN LIFTED UP, THE SECOND FLOOR HAD BEEN BLOWN AWAY, AND THE ROOF HAD RESETTLED UPON THE LOWER STORY, BUT IT WAS WAY OUT OF KILTER.

THREE DAYS LATER, THE TOWN HALL BUILDING OF BRANCHVILLE HAD BECOME A HEAP OF REFUSE OUT AT THE TOWN'S CAMPGROUNDS.

NOT EVEN THE CONCRETE FOUNDATION REAMAINED WHERE THE TOWN HALL HAD SAT FOR OVER ONE HUNDRED YEARS.

AND NOW, THE OFFICIALS WHO GATHERED FROM VARIOUS LEVELS OF GOVERNMENT HAVE DECLARED THAT ALL THREE OF MY SON-IN-LAWS BUILDINGS MUST ALSO BE BULL DOZED INTO OBLIVION.

ACTS OF GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS WILL, IN THE END, CREATE MORE DESTRUCTION THAN THE TORNADO DID.

GOVERNMENT BY NATURE IS DESTRUCTIVE.

RONDALD REAGAN SAID THAT THE MOST DANGEROUS WORDS IN THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE WERE: "I AM WITH THE GOVERNMENT, AND I AM HERE TO HELP YOU."


MAY THE GOOD LORD IN HEAVEN HELP US ALL!!!


EDDIE ON THE RIGHT

3 comments:

mapeses2002 said...

did the cemetary get hit?

mapeses2002 said...

Sorry about the previous short post...new to this blogging thing.

My dad is buried in the little cemetary on the outskirts of town on the road coming from Denmark...sorry I don't know the name of the road...It has been nearly 30 years since I lived in SC.

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