Today, we went back to the Diamond Creek Subdivision. What was a gorgeous neighborhood filled with nice brick homes, a new elementary school, and beautiful lake now has parts that are trash-laden and literally covered with debris.
Our newest friends, also homeschoolers, joined us for some hours of work. It was amazing to see just how much had been done in one day. The community of Forney should be extremely proud of its’ people, volunteers, firemen, policemen, church congregations, businesses, etc. I am amazed to see how many came from outside of the city. They pick up trash, rake fields, deliver water and food, encourage each other, and all the while fighting the scorching sun, fire ants, nails, glass, and weeds.
Amidst burning skin, cuts, and sore legs the people still come and work. And work. And work.
It’s no easy chore. Even picking up trash is exponentially difficult due to the small size and type of each item. It is seriously like a war zone in places. Fields are littered with debris — roof shingles and plywood that have been reduced to sizes averaging around three or four inches in diameter.
We worked with one crew to fill trash bags for a while, but when the bags were gone, we began scouring the field for larger items to place in one big pile. Our thinking was that the crews would be able to more easily scoop up the debris if it were in a pile.
There has been so much work done, but there is SO much more to do! Help is still seriously needed.
Even with clean up being done, I made the comment today that it would be a while before any children could play in the beautiful fields surrounding this neighborhood. There is so much glass and nails it would be extremely risky.
The elementary school sustained roof, window, and air conditioning damage, but I hear it will be reopened next week. Still, the children will surely have limited play time as there is no playground equipment anymore. Even most all the fences that surround the schoolyard have been destroyed. Again, I can only imagine what may still be in the grass next to the school.
Our little group of six worked until our bodies wouldn’t keep up with our will. We passed out bottled waters, filled three or four bags of trash, and then made what we thought was a pretty big pile of materials in the field.
Unfortunately, the pile is in a big messy field. It’s hard to see in these pictures because the grass is tall, but from a distance, the field looks relatively clean. However, when you begin walking through it, there are huge boards, car pieces, metal pieces, housing materials, fence posts,….more than you can imagine just laying everywhere within that tall grass. Add to that the millions of smaller roof shingles, insulation, paper, etc and it will be a while before it is all picked up.
All this mess from a very powerful EF-3 tornado, and yet I am still absolutely humbled by the fact that there was not one loss of life.
A stop at the local ice cream parlor rejuvenated us. There’s nothing like ice cream to keep a group of silly boys going!
(And going, and going, and going….lol!)