Monday, June 11, 2007

One month later

I tagged along with my friend, Rob, to fly in an employee's club Cessna 172. As we scanned for traffic and watched the moving maps, reggae was playing on the XM radio (the station, to our amusement, was named "The Joint"). My limited experience with "airborne" XM radio confirms my belief that this drop beat music is the best to listen to while flying! Yes, I know I am spoiled. No worries, I don't expect this luxury while flying in Kenya ... I plan on humming to myself!

Our objective, actually Rob's objective, was to photograph Greensburg from the air. As you know, a massive tornado (classified as an EF-5) tore through the town of Greensburg during its 30 minutes on the ground. In fact, this was the first time a tornado of this magnitude had hit the United States since the turn of the century/ millenium.

There is still a temporary flight restriction, so we carefully stayed at least 3,000 feet above the town.

Outside of town, damage was barely noticeable. Some mangled trees, a twisted irrigation pipe. The grass was green and from the air looked normal. The frequent rains no doubt played their part to cover up the tracks.

Inside the town was completely different. Some houses still were piles of debris. Others were completely dug out, leaving dry, hollow sockets in the ground. National Guard tents were erected to serve as a field hospital. Tents and campers occupied the football and baseball fields. Trailers had been brought in as homes and some possibly to serve as schoolhouses in the fall. Smoke was clearly visible several miles northwest of town, probably burning off trash.
Tempory schoolhouse buildings?

Football field with tents and campers

Field Hospital

Northwest of town

Largest hand dug well (the circular hole amidst the square ones)

I've been told the town will be rebuilt completely from scratch. They plan on using high efficiency materials and systems for the new town. Local response has been awesome, and I know prayers continue to be raised for the citizens of the town.

The return to Wichita left me thinking about tragedies that so easily occur next door and around the world. The reason and purpose seem to grow and blossom awhile after the fact. The greater part is beyond comprehension, but I am sure that I want to be a part of God's purpose, helping until restoration is complete.

See! The winter is past;
the rains are over and gone.

Flowers appear on the earth;
the season of singing has come,
the cooing of doves
is heard in our land.

No comments: