a tornado in the Little Apple

My mom called me this morning to update me that the jeweler back home could indeed tighten the loose prong(s) on my engagement ring, so I can wear it again as soon as Ian or my family brings it back (this weekend or the next, pending on how long it takes the jeweler). She also mentioned my grandma called this morning and said last night a tornado went through the area of Chapman and Manhattan. My family hadn't heard much because it wasn't in their news coverage area, but mom didn't make it sound too bad — just some damage to a couple buildings on campus, I assumed more due to high winds, not that it had touched down in town.

I went to the computer to start working on the bulletin, and, out of habit, checked my e-mail. I had several messages in my inbox relating to the tornado: photos, "I'm fine, it didn't hit us" updates, and news articles. I checked some blogs, as well, and saw even more photos. Both Vanessa and Sarah O. (in my blog list on the right) have photos/links to photos: you should take a look. I read it was two to four blocks wide, and millions of dollars of damage. Thankfully, there haven't been any reports of deaths (as far as I've seen). It seems like we (meaning the Little Apple area) have been hit hard these past 6 months or so. In December it was the ice storm that knocked out power for days and caused campus to close, during finals week no less. And speaking from experience, K-State doesn't cancel classes often at all (1.5 days, 5 years ago during my freshman year, for a large amount of snow was the last time previous to the ice storm). And now in June it's a tornado which devastates the area and campus.

photo from The Manhattan Mercury

I've always empathized with updates of devastation, but this is a completely different experience. I feel like I missed something, that I should have heard about it as it was happening — how did we miss hearing about it? It feels like we should have heard it on the news, or heard the sirens, or something. Because there is home; we're just temporarily not there. These are neighborhoods I walked through. These are places I drove past on a regular basis. These are people I love. It feels more surreal, and at the same time, more real than other disasters I see in the news. And while we can't help with cleanup, I want to say you are in our thoughts and prayers, and we are so thankful you are safe. Keep us posted, and let us know if there is anything we can do, and any more specific prayer requests. That's one thing that our distance doesn't affect!

Also, to pass along information, I just got an e-mail from the K-State Foundation, which has established the K-State Tornado Relief Fund. Visit the site if you're interested in donating. They also have lots of photos of the damage on campus, campus news updates, and a YouTube link for the news report I have at the beginning of the post.