img_0423.jpgOne of my favorite episodes of The Vicar of Dibley is when the Vestry is trying to compare the storm they are in with one they’ve experienced before. Was it the Great Storm when the windmill got blown over or the one where Old Harold got blown into the quarry? Or was that the Great Wind?

Last week, we certainly had what I’d call the “Great Storm” or the “Great Wind.” Without much warning, Hamilton found itself in a tornado. Thanks be to God, very few in the town were injured, and no one was killed. Some property was damaged, including Harris County High School, the Ag Center, and many homes. Lots of trees were snapped in half.

St. Nicholas was right in the path of the tornado, it seems, as many trees were brought down on the property, including one that smashed our playground. We also lost our church sign and had some minor damage to the shed, and the lattice work around one of the HVAC units. By God’s grace, the building was not harmed at all, nor were the four of us–Connie Blackmon, Michelle Moody, Drucye Robinson, and me–who were inside during the storm.

Looking back on the storm is more frightening than being in it. Since it wasn’t clear at the time that the storm was a tornado, it’s amazing to me that more damage wasn’t done. But I’m extremely grateful for it not being worse.

I’m also grateful to the many volunteers who came out the next few days to cut trees, gather limbs, and restore order to the chaos. There were around 30 or so folks who came out, and I am extremely grateful for them and their hard work. There are still many trees to deal with, but we’ve made good progress.

Below are pictures that I took immediately after the storm.

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