On Sunday February, 10th, 2013, a very powerful tornado ripped through my community. My family and our home was spared, but there are many who were not. One of those is my dear friend, and fellow photographer, Traci Massey. She is a cancer survivor and a very giving and loving person. The afternoon of the tornado, I knew it had gone right through her area. I, along with three other photographer friends, were so worried about her and waited for news on her situation. It came via Facebook, “We are okay but everything is destroyed.” It was an emotional day and continues to be emotional. Even though physically we were unaffected, we are so sad and sorry for those who were. Though this tornado sent many to the hospital, there has not been one death attributed to the tornado. Pretty much everyone around here considers that a bone fide miracle!
I went to Traci’s home to help do a little clean up. I brought my camera with me in the hopes she would allow me to use her as my subject for this month’s theme. She very graciously said she would and we headed outside to be amongst the wreckage. It was shocking to see the devastation. Keep in mind as you see the following images, this is three days after the tornado hit. There has already been countless hours spent on clean up. I can only image how it must have looked as they emerged from the wreckage for the first time. We do not get tornadoes like this very often in our area, if hardly ever, so we are all still in disbelief that this happened.
Here Traci stands in front of the home she was raised for most of her life. This is the home she was in during the tornado. It is her Grandmother’s home. Her own home sits right behind this one and sustained damage as well.
Traci leans on the doorway of the basement where her family hunkered under a table as the tornado passed over them.
This is Traci with her oldest daughter. Her daughter was at their church when it happened. There were many frantic moments before they were able to speak to each other and confirm everyone’s safety. Despite what they have been through, they are still smiling! I love that!
We walked up her road and for her it was the first time. She stands looking at the total devastation of a neighbor’s home. As we walked she told me about how her husband decided to stay in their home, instead of coming to her Grandmother’s basement. She said as it was all happening, she was thinking of how she was going to have to deal with the death of her husband. It was so bad, she thought there was no way he could have survived.
This little plaque was sitting on this log in her grandmother’s yard. I sat it up to snap a quick picture. It’s crazy how some things are displaced during a tornado. One half of your home can be blown away, while the card game you were playing in another room sits untouched.
Please continue our circle with the fabulous Krista Keller | Danville CA Child, Family, Senior Photographer.