Macon County, TN, has occupied my mind for the past few days. You see, my mother grew up in Macon County. We still have family there (we are thankful they are all okay, and they are working in the relief effort).
The worst part of the tornado (which is estimated to have been on the ground for over 41 miles and in many parts of Macon County over a mile wide) passed just about 1 mile from where my grandparents lived until their passing. So many of my summers were spent skipping rocks in the creek that ran alongside the road where they lived.
A little country church that my mother and I attended when we spent weekends there was completely destroyed. I look on the website, and so many houses that I recognize (as we passed by them on the way to my grandparents) are severely damaged. It is sad, because when we now go to my in-laws' house, I often enjoy the drive and tell my husband how much one stretch of highway reminds me of Lafayette, with its gentle rolling hills and the farm community, down-home feeling. Now that nostalgia cannot be compared to the original place, which has been scarred so badly from this event.
My aunt is a paralegal there, and my uncle is a volunteer firefighter and also runs an insurance agency there, so they deal with a large part of the town residents on a daily basis. They both know many of those who perished as a result of Tuesday's storm (actually, it was between 2 and 3 o'clock a.m. on Wednesday, because I was up watching the news as the storms were passing through my county, and Lafayette was getting the worst part of if around that time). The death toll was at 14 for Macon County alone the last time I heard, but not everyone has been accounted for yet (around 100 people, whom they are not assuming are dead). They know even more people who lost everything, not to mention those whose homes are badly damaged.
Please say a prayer for these folks. It is one of the nicest towns I know. To see pictures of Macon County, go to http://www.maconcountytimes.com