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24 hours in fear

September 6, 2011

It’s been all over the news; Central Texas was on fire yesterday. Austin and surrounding areas were (and still are) burning to the ground. So far we have burned through acreage the size of Connecticut. One of the hardest hit areas, Bastrop, has a fire still going right now roughly the size of Manhattan. Yesterday I asked for your prayers and today I will again. Thousands of people have been evacuated and hundreds have lost their homes. The devastation is total. Here is a picture of what Bastrop looks like:

test4Fire in Bastrop County Threatens Homes

The poor people of Bastrop are still fighting and fire fighters are desperate for relief. As of right now it is not contained although the winds have died down which will help.

My home was right in the middle of several fires (about 30 miles from Bastrop) and Keith and I were on high alert all day. Steiner Ranch, where Keith works and several of our friends live was on fire. Mandatory evacuations of over 5000 people and 35 dear people lost their homes. As for today it looks like that fire is under control and people should be allowed to go home.

The cause of the fires was the severe weather conditions we are having. We have had record heat all summer with no rain. So little rain that our lake levels are 30+ feet low. We are on water rations and our land is crisp. A cold front blew in giving us relief from the heat but it did not contain rain. It dropped our humidity levels to 12% (which is almost unheard of) and brought us winds of up to 35-40mph. The already dry conditions just made conditions right for stray sparks to fly (from cigarettes, BBQ’s etc.) and the winds took those sparks and lit us up.

I spent the day yesterday tweeting information as quickly as I could while also packing important papers (my marriage license, passports, home owners insurance, bank information, etc..) into a box along with getting my camera and making a video inventory of everything in my house. I then looked around to see what I wanted to take with me in case of a quick evacuation notice. And you know what? It is all just stuff and stuff can be replaced. In the end I packed some clothes, my wedding album, my prescription medicines, my important papers, my computer and our sweet  Kodi’s ashes. After that there wasn’t much more I needed or wanted to bring with me. It was a lesson in perspective. I got some boxes and punched holes in them for my chickens and then all that was left to do was wait and pray.

Central Texas in still in a world of hurt right now. I know the Red Cross is set up to take donations and multiple places around Austin need supplies for shelters and for the firefighters. I will tweet more updates as they become available (see hashtag #centraltxfires for complete information) Thank you all for your prayers and your continued support.

I am grateful for the firefighters from all across the state who have come together to help us. Bless you

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41 Comments leave one →
  1. September 6, 2011 6:55 am

    You guys have been in my thoughts all weekend. I cannot imagine how terrifying it must be. I hope relief comes soon! ❤

  2. September 6, 2011 7:00 am

    Hey Kelly, I’ve been following your tweets and everyone is the area is in my thoughts and prayers. Stay safe!

    • September 6, 2011 7:34 am

      Thank you so much! I saw some of your tweets to me and I was so moved that so many people were reaching out and praying for me and my city. Thank you so much!

  3. September 6, 2011 7:35 am

    I’ve been reading your tweets and thinking of you – the whole thing is terrifying, I hope it is contained and taken care of. Still sending thoughts and prayers your way…

    • September 6, 2011 6:55 pm

      I feel bad about all the massive tweets but I was trying so hard to share as much information as I could to the people of Austin. It was so scary!

  4. September 6, 2011 7:49 am

    Sending prayers for safety, peace, healing and downpours!

  5. September 6, 2011 7:53 am

    Stay safe Kelly! I wish there was someway I could send my rainy weather to you!!

  6. September 6, 2011 8:00 am

    Ughh, Kelly I’ve been thinking of you. Definitely keeping you in my thoughts…stay safe down there.

  7. September 6, 2011 8:12 am

    I’ve been thinking about you, I hope everything gets under control soon. Stay safe.

  8. September 6, 2011 8:29 am

    Kelly I don’t even know what to say. It certainly does put life into perspective. I’m thinking of you and all the people going through this right now. Sending love and hugs.

  9. September 6, 2011 8:30 am

    Keep safe! That’s terrifying. I hope that everything works out for you.

  10. September 6, 2011 8:39 am

    Kelly this is all so scary — I have never been in that sort of situation before, but it sounds like you were as prepared as possible. I’m glad that there are fire fighters who are brave enough to deal with this sort of situation.

  11. September 6, 2011 9:01 am

    You are in my thoughts and prayers! Please remain safe! That picture is so scary. Please keep us up to date on twitter!!

  12. September 6, 2011 9:06 am

    That picture is unreal, I’m just sitting here shaking my head only trying to imagine what you are going through. Glad you all are safe for now and hope it stays that way and the fires get contained.

    PS-You’re a tweeting machine, I know more about the fires from you rather than CNN—nice job!

    • September 6, 2011 9:11 am

      Thanks Tiffany. I figured if I was scared and wanting information so were other people in my situation. I love twitter and it really came through yesterday…that and FB. I love using social media for good!

  13. September 6, 2011 9:13 am

    Stay safe girl. (And your Kodi post couldn’t have shown up at a more perfect time for me. Going through that with my puppy currently) 😦

    • September 6, 2011 12:55 pm

      Oh…I am so sorry you are going through the loss of a pup. That is so hard. Hang in there. 🙂

  14. September 6, 2011 9:20 am

    Stay safe!!

  15. September 6, 2011 9:28 am

    Prayers sent your way!

  16. September 6, 2011 10:43 am

    Oh my goodness Kelly, I had no idea. My good and safe thoughts go out to you two and everyone in the area!

    We lived for ten years at Lake Tahoe – high alpine forest and very dry – so wildfires were a fear for us every year. One year it got so close that we could see the flames over the hill just in front of out home.

    I hope that everyone including the fire fighters stays safe and healthy!

    • September 6, 2011 10:58 am

      Alisa…I have honestly never experienced anything like this before in my life. I feel so scared and so helpless. It is just awful.

  17. September 6, 2011 11:04 am

    Oh my gosh Kelly I can’t even believe this! You (and all of Texas!) are definitely in my thoughts and prayers. I’m so sorry you have to go through this!!

  18. September 6, 2011 11:21 am

    Kelly I’ve been thinking of you all weekend, I’m so glad you’re okay. Hang in there. Sending prayers your way!

    • September 6, 2011 12:56 pm

      Thank you so much Michelle…it has been scary.

  19. September 6, 2011 1:46 pm

    Goodness gracious! I’ve been watching the fire news here in Houston and praying that everyone is able to stay safe. Goodness do we need some rain!

  20. September 6, 2011 1:54 pm

    All the poeple that were/are affected by the fires, your in my prayers! ❤ 🙂

  21. September 6, 2011 2:51 pm

    Kelly, I was thinking about you all weekend..and still am. I’m just in shock. That picture is so scary!!! I don’t even know what I would do. I have been seeing a lot of your tweets & I think it’s so wonderful that you are doing so much to help.
    I will continue to pray for Texas. Thinking of you!! xo

    • September 6, 2011 6:58 pm

      Oh Holly some of the pictures I have seen are horrific. Words can’t even describe the horror!

  22. September 6, 2011 4:40 pm

    I can’t even imagine the fear you have been living through these past few days. I hope you continue to stay safe. My thoughts and prayers are with you and the people in central Texas.

  23. September 6, 2011 6:00 pm

    oh my goodness Kelly I am so sorry to read this. We are wishing you and other Austinites all the best with a safe evacuation and wishing you all the best possible right now.

  24. September 6, 2011 10:52 pm

    I’ve been glued to the news. I’m glad you guys are okay. All day yesterday I kept thinking ‘what would I bring if it was me?’ and, you’re right, so much of it is just stuff. Still, it would be devastating to lose everything.

    I’m off to search for donation sites in San Antonio.

  25. September 6, 2011 11:47 pm

    I’m glad the fires are under control. I’ve been worrying about you all day. Fires like this are so terrifying. It seems like we have them around here every summer. I remember one year was really bad, the fires were over 3 hours away from where I live and we could still smell the smoke. Stay safe Kelly. You guys are still in my thoughts.

  26. September 7, 2011 6:15 am

    Oh my gosh, Kelly…bless your heart. You sound so organized for being in the middle of such a disaster – very wise. I heard about the fires and it sounds absolutely horrific. Stay safe!! Keep us updated if you can 🙂

  27. September 12, 2011 11:17 pm

    So sad. I’m definitely thinking about you!

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