Friday, February 01, 2013

January Storms

The night of January 29, 2013 we went to bed with strong wind warnings. The wind outside our window sounded pretty loud but it's not like we've never had that before.

About 2:15 am the wind was loud enough to wake me up. I sat up for a while looking on my phone at news stations and weather websites. I found that we were under a tornado watch but we get those practically anytime a few people sneeze at the same time. News channels around here like to scare people and if you ran for cover every time they freaked out, you would just live in your hall way or "safe spot".

A little after 2:30am I decided I was tired and going to try to go back to sleep. I prayed to God that He watch over us and keep everyone on campus safe. I then laid down and as I did that my husband, Walter woke up. We spoke for a moment about how loud the wind was. As we were talking the wind got even louder. We agreed that maybe we should leave the room because we were on the second floor. We got up and started getting ready to leave. In just a few moments we started hearing pine cones hit our bedroom windows with great force. After just a minute we were just about ready and Walter headed for the door while I grabbed my cat. 
My cat, Spooks, is a big baby, he's afraid of everything. When the weather gets a little loud he hides and can't be found. Oddly enough he had been sleeping on my feet and when we got up he went just under the step of our bed, no farther. So I was able to grab him and put him in my left arm where he likes to be. I then decided to take the three steps to the head of my bed to grab my flashlight since the power was flickering. Meanwhile Walter got about 2-3 steps away from our bedroom door (still inside the room).

Just after I put my hand on my flashlight, the window that I was about a foot and a half from exploded into the room. The rest of the time that I was in the room I was in a daze and details are fuzzy. Just after the double paned window exploded I turned my back to the window and screamed. The wind at that point was so loud that even to me my scream was barely audible. Amazingly, despite the explosion, despite me screaming, despite the wind roaring into the room, Spooks was staying still in my arms. If he is freaked and someone makes a slightly loud noise or moves to quick he will jump and run.

About the time the window exploded the power went of and stayed off for the next 15+ hours. I couldn't see a thing and knew that despite the fact that glass must be everywhere I had to get to the door at the opposite corner of the room. I figured I'd deal with the cuts and glass in my feet later and beelined to where I knew the door must be. When I got to the door I somehow knew it was shut and I would have to get it open. Before I could even reach for it, the door opened and Walter was there.

At the time the window exploded Walter was a few feet from the door, inside the room. Somehow he found himself outside the bedroom door and when he started to step back into the room, the door that had been up against the wall, suddenly slammed in his face. He started trying to open the door to get in to me but was unable to get it to budge until just when I got to the other side.

I hurried out of the room and we shut the door behind us to contain the wreckage and keep our cats away from everything. We moved to the top of the stairs where Walter looked at me and saw I was bleeding. I hurried down the stairs for the bathroom that is also our most safe room. Halfway down the stairs Spooks finally moved again and jumped over my shoulder and took off.

I got to the downstairs bathroom and felt my head and found a wound that was bleeding profusely. I started using my hand to wash the wound. The blood just kept coming very heavily so I told Walter to get his mother who lives next door and was a nurse. After a while of washing out the wound I finally stopped, sat down and using paper towels pushed as hard as I could on the wound. Finally the bleeding stopped.

Walter's parents got over to our house and helped clean and bandage the gash on top of my head and pull our bed away from the window that was now open to the rain. I lost enough blood that while Walter's mom was working on the cut I started feeling like I sometimes do after giving blood, except stronger than usual. I got a cold sweat, a bit nauseated and felt weak. I sat there thinking of what what they give you after giving blood and had Walter get me a soda and a granola bar to try to quickly get things replenishing again.  

After I was bandaged up and no longer bleeding everywhere I went upstairs and sat in the living room to just relax a bit. Walter and his parents tried to see what had happened outside but it was only 4 something in the morning at that time so they gave up and went back inside. They looked in our bedroom and found glass everywhere, across the whole length of the room. I don't know how I never felt any under my feet. There was also large pieces on our bed where we had been lying less than 5 minutes before the window exploded. They also found a branch that was likely what hit me in the head. Walter and I sat on the couch and tried to get more sleep but both were too freaked out to get anywhere. At one point I reached in my robe pocket and found a piece of glass!

When it started to get light we looked outside and saw a bit of the carnage. I got my camera and covered my bandage with a water resistant hat and we went out to start taking pictures. What we found was amazing. Across our campus there are uncountable number of trees down, some broken, some ripped up by the roots. Every path out of campus was blocked by trees. So had I not gotten the bleeding to stop or the wound been deeper to need stitches, we couldn't have gotten to the emergency room.

The pavilion on the ball field was ruined. The wood posts and their concrete bases were ripped out of the ground and lying down next to where they had stood. The rest was scattered. One of the trees behind our house was broken and toppled. The sunroom on the back of Walter's parent's house was ruined. The metal roof on one of our currently unused dorms was ripped off. There were also trees down behind and on top of that building. In the woods just behind that building there is a long strip of trees all broken and on the ground in the woods. We also found multiple power lines down and two trees that were next to our chapel that fell next to the building instead of on it.

We made our way down to the dorm that holds all our current clients and found it completely untouched. Very minimal damage to trees a little ways away from the dorm but the dorm and the clients completely safe and untouched.

Continued inspection of the campus found a long branch stabbed into the roof of an unoccupied building. Our fiber network was mostly down on the ground. The roof was ripped off our little building holding lawn stuff. We also found that one of the power lines that came down had bounced around burning lines on the ground. The biggest cost areas are multiple broken windows, at least three roofs need to be redone and the sunroom needs fixed.

Earlier in the morning, after my wound had been cared for I realized that my vision was weird and noticed that the left lense on my glasses was gone. We also found a small cut out of the thick plastic of the frames. So once our path was clear we went to try to get me new glasses. The eye doctor we went to decided not to charge me because she knew Walter's parents and was amazed at the story of what happened to my glasses yet I had no damage to my eye. Thankfully I was able to get new glasses the same day. The next day we finally found the lense from my glasses. It was in tact, on a shelf that was more than 10 feet behind where I was standing when I was hit.

All totaled I have the gash on my head, a bruised forehead, a couple tiny cuts on my body and that's all the physical injuries on campus. Despite glass being all over our bedroom I was barely touched by any of it. Including my feet. I never got cut or even remember feeling the glass under my feet when I walked through the room. We even found glass that got under the bathroom door and into our bathroom. Also a gouge in our bedroom door where a piece of glass flew across the length of the room and stabbed into the wood door before it closed shut in Walter's face.

I know that some don't believe in a loving, caring God but seeing all that went on that night I find it hard not to believe.
Had I not woken up we would have been in bed and showered in large glass. Had Spooks acted like he normally does I wouldn't have been able to get him. Had I not bent down to grab my flashlight I would have been hit in the face and neck. By going to get my flashlight I did get hit in the head with a stick but otherwise likely would have been stabbed by the glass that gouged the bedroom door. I don't remember navigating the bed or touching the floor and the glass on it, I only felt like I moved straight across the room. Walter was standing in the room and saw the window explode yet was untouched by any glass and when he went to take a step towards me he found himself outside the door and the door slammed in his face, keeping him from walking in the glass. Despite the window being double paned and glass everywhere, I barely got touched by any of it. Something hit my glasses and sent the lense flying but nothing got in my eye, other than my forehead being slightly bruised my eye is safe. Of all the things flying around, there was not a lot of injury. The building holding all our clients was totally untouched. The fiber network that helps us be able to provide Christian internet radio to the world is salvageable. Fiber is notoriously fragile and despite it coming in contact with live wires, flying wood roofs, flying metal roofing, etc. the steel support wire was severed in multiple areas and the strong fishing wire that held the two together was broken in multiple areas but the fiber was intact and still workable.

On and on. Our campus was the worst hit area in town yet multiple important things made it through untouched or much better off than one would expect.
I fully feel that God was watching over all of us on campus and I praise the Lord that my injuries were not worse and are healing very quickly.

Psalms 91:14-15
“Because he holds fast to me in love, I will deliver him; I will protect him, because he knows my name. When he calls to me, I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him and honor him."

Psalms 91:11-12
 "For He will command His angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways. On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone."

If you would like to make a tax deductible donation to the disaster relief fund for Cave Springs Home visit their website at and click on the donate button. Thank you!

1 comment:

  1. Amber, I'm so thankful for the incredible way God protected you, and Cave Springs. We pray that the repairs/cleanup go well and speedily!


Thanks for sharing your thoughts!