Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Storm Scars along the Natchez Trace

How we have enjoyed our travels on the Natchez Trace Parkway for the past three days!  Most of the time we have enjoyed the peaceful surroundings of forests, meadows and an occasional cluster of late spring wildflowers.
Yesterday, however, we began to notice trees down, some broken off, but many of them uprooted.  Today we found out why.
Around milepost 190 we drove into a swath of destruction such as we had never seen before!  Then we remembered the "Super Outbreak" of tornadoes that tore thru more than seven southeastern states last week, April 25 to 28.
Wikipedia reports that as many as 341 people may have been killed in that temper tantrum of Mother Nature.  Insurance estimates list damages of  $5.5 billion.  For over twenty miles we drove thru the chaos left in the wake of those storms.
Bare tree trunks, with their leafy branches twisted off,  pointed at the sky like pleading arms.  Fresh wooden debris littered the sideditches and shoulders of the road.  Huge whole trees, with root systems wider than we are tall, uprooted and lying helplessly on the ground like beached fish.  What an awe-inspiring demonstration of the power of nature!
 We were shocked and saddened by the sight of the scars left by the largest tornado outbreak in U.S. history.  But we, our trusty truck and home on wheels continued safely on our way north, thanking God for safety in travel!