I had my first opportunity to bike through some of the neighborhood this evening (I've been watching my niece & nephew the last three days and the roads were closed for a few days as well--not to mention the curfew the first night). It's incredible. I know there are much worse damaged areas out there in other states. My parents said they hadn't seen anything on the tornado in our area because of the devastating tornado in Joplin, Missouri. And rightfully, there are other areas that need more focused attention (most of them are in war-torn Africa and Asia and don't get the coverage they deserve, however).
Still, this tornado was in our neighborhood. It effected us. And it has effected many people. Urban Homeworks alone has been directing the help of over 500 volunteers a day. Churches and many other organizations are serving meals each day because many are unable to get in their homes and more have been without power.
The pictures above were at 29th and Logan where it seemed like the tornado intensified greatly. We're at 25th and Irving--four blocks south and four east. It was close. Very close. We didn't even have branches down. I hate the fatalism of the word "lucky," but we were lucky. I don't know what other word to say. I'm not going to say God protected us, because that makes it sound like He wasn't protecting those who received damage. But I'm thankful--very thankful--that not only was our house spared damage, but my kids who were in the midst of the tornado at a birthday party were safe, and my wife who was supposed to be driving home from work when it hit was safe.
There are a lot of people who had damage--many are renters in our area and most don't carry renters' insurance. It's a poor part of town, for the most part. A part that many consider "rough." Stero-typed by violence, drugs and theft. I think now--especially now that many people have come into the neighborhood to help--people are seeing how much the neighborhood cares for one another and how most are here to make a difference. I've wished I could do more.