Tuesday, April 19, 2011


These were taken last Thursday morning from my back deck.  Queens Creek was fogged over, but that didn't discourage some early morning boaters near the marina just up the way.  As the sun rose the fog slowly burned off.

The haze and the colors are just as they appeared then.

This point of land, a very narrow peninsula which juts out into the creek, is to the left of the shots above, away from the direct light of that rising sun.

Speaking of haze and fog, the aftermath of the tornado is still being felt very acutely here.

(Yet amazingly, across the river where I work, they barely mentioned it.  We always seem to get lost in the shuffle, those of us who live in Gloucester, Mathews and Middlesex. I suppose that's what attracts us to living here, the lack of attention and spotlight. Still, it's hard to believe something this big can happen and  people just 20 or 30 minutes in another direction have no inkling that anything happened.)

Today on my way in to work I drove by Page Middle School and could not believe my eyes. How all that damage could come from such a swift weather event is beyond comprehension.

After crossing the Coleman Bridge I took my usual route up the Colonial Parkway and was shocked to discover a patch of trees that had been completely obliterated, snapped off midway up just like toothpicks. Evidently this was where the tornado passed through before crossing the York River and continuing its path of destruction as it bullied its way through Gloucester and Middlesex.

As is typical for this area, the outpouring from the community has been immense. Churches and other organizations are providing meals, clothes, showers, and even chain saw brigades. My daughter's school, forced to cancel its community Easter egg hunt Saturday due to the weather, is using all the candy and eggs to make Easter bags for those affected by the tornado.

According to an email from my daughter's school, the Red Cross is asking for the following items, which can be dropped off at Bellamy United Methodist, 4870 Chestnut Fork Road, Gloucester, from 10:00 a.m. through 2:00 p.m.

                Currently, the most pressing needs are:
                Children’s clothes – sizes small, medium and large
                Infant clothes
                Cleaning supplies
                Food items that do not need cooking or refrigeration
                (food items specifically mentioned included cereal, snacks and soft/juice drinks)

One thing that is bizarre to those of us unaccustomed to tornadoes but very much acquainted with other severe weather, is how seemingly untouched most of the area is. Unless you glanced in the general direction of Page Middle School (and the field next to it), you'd never know anything happened as you drive down an otherwise normal looking Route 17.

Deltaville is still in recovery mode. Be sure to read Deltaville Jamie's latest account of the goings on over there, where they are also struggling with decimated buildings, yet, amazingly, no loss of life.

p.s. Speaking of lost lives, I referenced three deaths in Gloucester in yesterday's post.  That number has since been revised to two storm-related deaths. 


Kay L. Davies said...

It is just mind-boggling, CBW. A tornado is supposed to be an inland ('way inland, like Kansas) weather problem, not something that happens to a coastal area, and heaven knows your area has more coastline than some continents.
Wonderful how people can pull together in a crisis, however. Gotta love that.
-- K

Kay, Alberta, Canada
An Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel

Anonymous said...

I echo Kay's sentiment about the community spirit of help and consolation. And, COASTAL tornadoes? What sort of beast is that ?
The photos of Queen's Creek are so breathtaking ! The one with misty background,with foreground focus on the branch is brilliant--possible book cover photos for when you (I hope )write your other book that features these blog posts........

Mental P Mama said...

There is very little out there that scares me more than tornadoes. And I am not surprised at the community outpouring there. It is a rare and special place....

Deltaville Jamie said...

Can I just say those are absolutely amazing photos?! I love them. Saturday's storms also produced a couple of tornadoes here in the rolling foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains so we have coastal tornadoes and mountain tornadoes (not that there are super giant mountains here). Crazy. But I love all the concern and help and love that this is bringing out. But then, I always knew Mathews/Deltaville was that kind of place.

Maria_NJ said...

Amazing pictures from you deck...the colors were intriguing...

That is wonderful that the community is so close and helping neighbors out, isn't what it is about...paying forward

yes, that is what I need, to get lost in the woods, with a beach near by. Can everybody say...nirvana

These Nine Acres said...

Wow. So sorry for the devastation in your area as well as Jamie's. Mother Nature sure has been on her period this year, has she not? Praying for a quick recovery there.

Grandma J said...

I'm trying to wrap my head around the devastation. It has to be surreal to see so much damage.

Your photos on the otherhand seem so peaceful, and frameable!!!

Noe Noe Girl...A Queen of all Trades. said...

Awesome photos. Churched here are collecting and will be making a delivery soon! Thanks for the update.

Daryl said...

I am stunned that people where you work dont know this happened .. do they live under rocks? Its been all over the news up here ..

Those fog photos are so amazingly wonderful ..

Anonymous said...

A friend told me today that a North Carolina driver's license was found in Gloucester, and a school bus manual from Gloucester was found in Deltaville. Incredible.


deborah said...

I was going to ask if you had clothing on when you took those exquisite fog photos, but I won't.
I wish I were closer so that I could help, tornadoes leave such a path of devastation, and I know that help will be needed for some time.
Are coastal tornadoes common?

Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

We're used to all sorts of severe weather here, including waterspouts which are basically tornadoes on the water.

Severe thunderstorms, often with tornado warnings, occur here regularly (sometimes it feels like daily) during the summer months.

But rarely do we see tornadoes--particularly with this sort of punch--on land, and if so they are very short-lived. This one traveled miles upon miles without letting up.

Contrary to all this tornado talk, the weather here today was gorgeous except for the two inches of yellow pollen all over everything. Even so, I'll take that over rain and cold weather any day.

Thanks for reading and for commenting, it really means a great deal.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful pics from your backyard! Thanks for letting us look through your eyes. It's a gift. Your a deep well sister. Well It doesn't look to hard to get a sail boat to your back door and pick you up. On another note, I am proud of our community and their generosity. I am grateful to call this place home.

Alicia@ eco friendly homemaking said...

These pictures are just gorgeous! Really like your blog. Glad I found it!!

Country Girl said...

These photos are beautiful. That first one is wowza, CBW!