Wednesday, February 27, 2013

One year ago...

It was one year ago that I went to bed with an uneasy feeling. We knew bad weather was coming, but we did not know just how bad it was going to get.

I remember telling Justin to make sure that the boys slept with one of us that night because the weather was supposed to be bad. He, of course, thought I was crazy until I woke up about 4 a.m. that morning to a horrible nasty storm. I immediately turned on the T.V. to watch the local weather man. It was just me, all by myself. Justin slept through the whole thing. Finally, the stormed passed. But by this time I was wide awake.

Finally about 4:45 I started drifting back to sleep, but could still hear the T.V. going. I remember hearing: "There is a tornado on the ground in Harrisburg." (Harrisburg is my hometown and where all of my family still lives.)

I was half asleep, yet awake. However, you think, or at least I thought anyway, "Oh, I'm sure it is nothing." I kept the T.V. on but rolled back over and turned the volume down.


My phone started going crazy. People were calling to check on people and my Mother and Sisters were freaking that a tornado just ripped through Harrisburg. (About 45 minutes East of where we live now).

I was in shock. I couldn't believe it. Once I made sure my immediate family was okay, I began checking on more family. No one really had any idea where the tornado traveled. It took forever to get a hold of my Grandma. Grandma, future notice: Stop changing your number!!! :)

It was one of the most scariest feelings ever. Not knowing if your friends and family were okay. If they were hurt or even alive. Just a pure sickening feeling.

I, of course, took off and headed over to Harrisburg to help.

Seeing all the damage was so surreal. The whole new strip mall that was just built was completely gone. Buildings that had been there for years, gone. Vanished. Just a pile of rubble. Steel wrapped and twisted into the trees. Trees down everywhere. Debris scattered all over the place. Cars tumbled upside down. Just pure chaos and devastation.

This is a picture I took in the middle of the path of the tornado. You can see right through town.

All of my family was okay. Unfortunately lives were lost. People were hurt. Kids were hurt. My mother and I headed out first to my cousin's house which was a complete loss. I do not know how that woman is alive. By the time we got there they had most of everything they could cleaned up, but it still looked so horribly sad. I could never imagine losing my whole house.

This is her house. It was sitting right next to the foundation. Right next to it!! This is all that was left...

Crazy thing is her neighbor right across the street had a gizzilion nick knack items outside her house. Not one of them were even tumbled over. Weirdest thing ever.

We then headed out to a friend of my Mom's where we volunteered and helped them pack away the items they could save from their house.

The tornado made ABC News that night and the news crew actually interviewed the house owners we were helping.

I do not know if this helped sink in what really had just happened, but it was all just so surreal. I was not even in the tornado and it was like a nightmare.

The EF-4 tornado hit only two blocks from my Mother's house. Just a little bit further to the North and it could have destroyed everything of hers or I could have even lost her and my Papa.

The community all came together and worked together to help one another after the tornado hit. It was truly special to see and made me proud to be from Harrisburg!

I think once you move out of your hometown, you realize how special the place really is to you.

Never take a day for granted. You really truly never ever know what the next day may bring.

Brista Barrington


  1. Those pictures are mind blowing, Y'all are truly blessed & its a good reminder of how quickly things can literally be ripped away


  2. Thank You Brista for the pics , I don't really have any ! I am very blessed to be alive , Love you :)