About mid-afternoon my mother-in-law, who lives just across the street (no Everybody Loves Raymond issues here!), rushed in and told the boys to get their shoes on. I was getting ready to pack orders and came out from my craft room to hear, "We are being evacuated." A police officer had just driven down our street, calling for people to leave their homes because a tanker, filled with propane and less than a mile away, had caught on fire. I scooped up my purse and kids and off to my parents' house we went.
While we waited for Josh to get home from work, they widened the evacuation zone a little and made it mandatory. Because I had left everything behind, including my crockpot dinner, Josh snuck back in on his way to us and grabbed our bedding, clothes, diapers, etc. - and the crockpot :). The news was getting dire. Not only was the tanker on fire, but it was surrounded by hundreds of gallons of more propane. If the tanker were to explode, much of downtown, the high school, our neighborhood and our house would be destroyed.
They canceled the first day of school, then later canceled school until Monday. The boys were sad about that, but they were enjoying cartoons and treats and Grandma's house. We settled in for the night, along with another family. It was a little crowded and a little tense, but we were glad we all had a place to go to.
The next morning we heard that a team of experts from Texas had flown in and were preparing to do a hot tap. They were going to weld a valve and pipe to the burning tanker and drain the propane into a pond that they were digging. Preparations took all day, and the process didn't really begin until that night. They quickly discovered that the tanker had thousands of gallons of propane less than they had estimated and switched tactics. Firefighters pumped foam into the top of the tanker and were able to put out the fire. They lifted the evacuation at about midnight, but we waited until morning to go home.
Through this experience my belief in the power of prayer was strengthened, I was impressed with the leaders of my church and their concern for every member's welfare, and I learned how poorly prepared I was for an emergency like that. We are currently preparing a more mobile way to have clothes, food, and supplies ready to go at an instant. I strongly encourage everyone to have kits of emergency supplies prepared - now. Don't wait for something to happen. Get them ready now. If that tanker had exploded, all we would have owned would have been what we brought with us, and it would not have been enough. We are all safe and sound in our home and counting our blessings, but we are taking this experience as a warning and getting things in order.
On a happier, scrappier note, I did manage to release the September Sampler, Autumn Afternoon, on time yesterday :). Click on the photos for links.
Don't forget - my Birthday Blog Hop starts on Monday! I can't wait for you to see what all these talented ladies have been making!
Also, Miss Art's Papercrafting School is having a free class weekend! For all the details on that, please see the information here. I LOVE watching these classes and participating in the chats. It's so fun to get to know other scrappers this way, see their process and learn new things. Give it a try - you'll love it too!
Thank you to everyone who emailed, called, posted on Facebook, sent prayers, etc. I really appreciate it. I hope I have a very calm and uneventful weekend :). Enjoy yours too! Tessa