Unless you've been living under a rock for the last week and a half, you might have heard about my hometown of Harveyville, Kansas getting hit by a tornado late Tuesday evening, February 28th. I was overwhelmed by the response from viewers, writing emails and posting comments on Facebook and Twitter. I was floored by the kind thoughts and words from folks at church and at my daughter's school. But most of all, I was amazed by the Kansas spirit I saw in the two days I spent at home helping with the clean up. I met up with family members, old friends and plenty of volunteers who donated time and equipment to help the community. A good friend and former roommate dropped by Thursday afternoon to help out too. A gentleman from Rose Hill stopped by, a complete stranger to the community. He wanted to help and wrote a one hundred dollar check to my folks. Simply amazing.
In two days time, my parent's yard went from a disaster area to nearly back to normal (minus a couple of trees, the fence, a porch, a roof and a garage of course). It will take some time for things to return to normal but the recovery process is indeed underway. To everyone who helped out, or offered encouragement and support: Thank you!
Sadly, the storm claimed one life: that of our next door neighbor. He and his wife was in the process of taking shelter when the storm hit. Given that the tornado struck at night, was moving at a high rate of speed (around 75 mph!) and struck without an official Tornado Warning from the National Weather Service, folks back home didn't have much time to react. Let me be clear though, there was a warning out for that part of the county (a Severe Thunderstorm Warning) and the area was in a Tornado Watch Next week, during Severe Weather Awareness Week, I will talk more about this subject and why it's important to be vigilant when any severe weather is approaching.