Everything Ripped Away, What Would You Do?

I don’t watch the news.  So when I flew into Memphis, TN this morning I was in for a big surprise!  Last night they had quite a few tornados.  I don’t know all the details, but I did hear someone say that a tornado reached the EF4 status.  An EF4 has winds anywhere between 207 to 264 miles per hour!

As I was looking out the window of the airplane as we were coming in for landing in Memphis I saw something simlar to this…

Jackson, Tenessee Tornado 2/5/08

This is one of those big power line towers that carry the high-voltage lines bent over and touching the ground!

I left Memphis and started driving to Jackson, TN where I was working today.  On the way I saw tons of damage.   The median on the interstate was full of branches and trees that had been pulled from the highway.  Whole trees (roots and all) were lying everywhere.  Trees were snapped off like little twigs.

I heard on the radio that within a five mile stretch on the interstate there were over 20 semi trucks rolled over from the wind last night.  They were cleaning up the mess from the last truck as I drove by.  I had a hard time finding my exit because all of the road signs were bent over so far that they were touching the ground!

I thought the damage I was seeing was bad, but I wasn’t prepared for what I was about to see.  Once I got off on my exit I was greeted by this…

Jackson, Tenessee Tornado 2/5/08

And right next to that was this…



The amount of damage down here is just unbelievable!  I have never seen this kind of destruction first hand.  The pictures do not do it justice.  The feeling I got driving through this area was horrible.

Seeing the damage down here is a real eye opener.  It makes me realize how small we all are in the world.  No matter how hard you work, no matter how much you prepare, no matter how big or smart or tough or powerful you think you are…you are nothing compared to the forces of nature.  Everything you have could be ripped away from you without warning.

When I get home tomorrow I am going to give Momma and Ace a big ole’ hug…just because. 😀

EDIT: Pictures used on this post are property of the following sites.  For more pictures  and information about the tornados visit the following sites…



  1. PG says:

    Man alive. Wow. It does make you pause for thought. I will gladly take living in hurricane/blizzard territory. Tornadoes don’t play fair.

  2. Chuck says:

    Ditto what PG said – Thanks for posting this Jared. I don’t watch the news either but occasionally I listen to it on NPR. Hearing the news this morning made me pause. Your post had the same impact.

  3. jen says:

    wow wow wow

    stay safe


  4. Boomer says:

    Hope this isn’t a sign of things to come of this years tornado season. After all the season really doesn’t start for another few weeks.

  5. zoeyjane says:

    It’s a good thing you went today and not yesterday. I had no idea – I’m a news avoider.

  6. Stacey says:

    Wow… Looking at those photos gave me chills. You hear about things like this, but rarely see first-hand the devastation.

    Suddenly the argument I had with my boyfriend last night doesn’t seem quite so important…

  7. Kim says:

    WOW.. that is my unique response. I heard about this but did turn on the tv to see the how horrible it was.

  8. BlogginMom says:

    It is always sad to see such devastation. That is one reason we no longer live in Florida. 3 Hurricanes in a row would make anyone move.

  9. Greg says:

    I’m just like everyone else…. wow…. is all I can say. I am totally speechless. As a kid, I always wanted to be up close to a tornado because I thought they were cool on tv. Eh, not anymore!

  10. kristin says:

    I tagged you on my blog! Also you should sign up for my giveaway for the wifey!

  11. Momo Fali says:

    Oh my goodness! How horrible for those families and those communities.

  12. Tara R. says:

    That is so amazing. Good thing you didn’t arrive until after the storm.

  13. Ed (zoesdad) says:

    Amazing. Simply amazing.

  14. So true we take for granted the material things we own and the families that love us but they could all be gone in a split second. I like the saying. Live each day as if it was your last.

  15. I didn’t know you were coming to Memphis – I could have given you the grand tour!

    Our house and the surrounding area is okay. One of the areas that was hit the hardest is only about 10 minutes away. Way too close for comfort!

    We hid in the bathroom for about 10-15 minutes while it was near and my daughter was not happy.

    What brought you to Memphis?

  16. Jared says:

    PG: Not even close to fair… 😀

    Chuck: News is boring to me, but this was rather exciting because I was kinda involved in it all.

    Jen: WOW is right. The words coming out of my mouth weren’t so PC though. 😉

    Boomer: No kiddin! It is still Winter! This isn’t supposed to happen until Spring time.

    ZoeyJane: No kiddin! I think I would have probably pissed myself if I woke up to 200+ MPH winds…

    Stacey: I always watch Storm Stories and see the aftermath on TV, but first hand was unexplainable.

    Kim: WOW is about right. 😀

    BlogginMom: Hurricanes scare me too. At least you get a little bit of warning, but still very very scary!

    Greg: Me too! I always tell my wife I am gonna quit my job and be a storm chaser…now, I’m having second thoughts. 😀

    Kristen: Cool! I’ll check it out!

    Momo: It was amazing at ho much the community was pulling together down there to get evrything cleaned up. I was there for three days and they made a lot of progress real quick!

    Tara R: My thoughts exactly! 😀

    Ed: I agree…

    Tiff: I agree…

    Tyler: Your from Memphis? I’ll have to remember that if I ever go down there again. I bet it was hard containing the little one! It had to be scary for her! I flew into Memphis and then drove to Jackson to do some work for a few days.

  17. […] I traveled for most of the day down to tornado land Tennessee.  You CANT smoke in the airports or on airplanes these days so I just tried to sleep as much as […]

  18. Johnny says:

    We had a tornado like that pass through the town I lived in in Florida. It came through in the middle of the night and no one knew until it was hitting what was happening. We had several casualties from the tornado. It was very unusual for us to get one that size…