Entering the gate at Woodhaven Lakes, the world looked normal. Taking the first road to the left, going down the hill, the land looked the same. Turning the curve brought the present. Trees down, trailer’s destroyed or damaged — the destruction that an F2 tornado caused. We found our motor home right away. A double trunk tree fell on top of it, making it the poster child of the tornado. It has been on the front page of two newspapers. Many people stop on their way to take a picture. We got spray paint and wrote bye bye on the door. As I write this, three weeks later, it is still on site. The insurance company has not had it removed even though we have made many phone calls.
We could not see the damage that was done to our park model and room addition until we circled the many fallen trees. We were fortunate, a tree fell on the trailer, landing on the roof over the bathroom but only did minimal damage which my husband was able to patch temporally. Part of our deck was destroyed. A tree hanging by our room addition stopped before doing damage. I’m still not sure how many trees we lost. Our lot used to be shady, that has changed. Thanks to our children and their spouses, most of the downed trees and branches have been cleaned up.
We had to get professional help for the tree on the motor home. If the motor home was pulled out with the tree on it, it would have damaged the electric box. Thankfully the professionals knew what they were doing and although expensive, it was money well spent. I can’t praise Foremost and Farmers Insurance enough. They were on property and quickly appraised the damage. An important item is that they plan to continue to insure property at Woodhaven Lakes. I have heard that is not the same for all the insurance companies. I’m not happy with the company that insured our motor home. Although I’m tempted to name them, I’ll abstain at this time.
The southern half of the park — over 700 acres — was damaged. Three sections were completely closed except to property owners who were guided on site. Just recently I was able to tour those areas — all I can say is that it is heartbreaking. We were extremely lucky. We are able to stay, comfortably on site. My birdbath was undamaged, even though a tree fell on either side. My shepherd statue laid on its side but was undamaged. A little boy angel, holding a puppy, surrounded by green fallen evergreen, peaked his head up from the branches but was undamaged and our statue of Our Lady was in an undisturbed area. The antenna for the TV is still standing.
The employees of Woodhaven Lakes can not be thanked enough. The little park across the street, although damaged, has had the fallen trees removed. Although most of the equipment was damaged, kids can safely play on the remaining swings. As I write this, work is progressing to clear the nature trails of fallen trees. Many volunteers have come to help, as well as volunteers whose property was untouched. It will be a long time before most of the damage from the tornado will be removed. It will be a longer time before new trees are planted and grow.
Thankfully there were no fatalities the night of the tornado and just a few minor injuries.
Sadly, the aftermath of the tornado will cause many people to abandon their property. God and his angels were very busy that night. They still are very busy helping as people work to clear their property of damage. I have heard and experienced too many signs of angels at work to list them. THANK YOU!