North Carolina Tornadoes Claim at Least 23 Lives, Terrify the Rest of Us

Julie Ryan Evans

tornadoThe Southeast has been hit hard by extreme weather in the past couple of days with the death toll currently standing at 44 and likely to rise. North Carolina has seen the most fatalities -- 23 deaths have been reported  there so far as 62 tornadoes tore through the state Saturday. Hundreds more have lost homes and possessions and are living without power after what was the biggest outbreak of tornadoes in the state in more than 20 years.

The three-day system began in Oklahoma and has since traveled to Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia -- leaving death and destruction in its wake. The images and stories of loss being reported are heartbreaking, and I'm now doing everything I can to shield my 7-year-old son from any television or news reports of the destruction, or he will never sleep again.

He's flat out terrified of tornadoes. Every night for at least the past year, the last thing he asks me before he goes to bed is: "No tornado watches? No tornado warnings? No tornadoes?" Every single night I respond: "Nope, nope, nope," and try to reassure him that they don't happen that often, and that they are most likely to occur in the Midwest (we live in Florida). Besides, I tell him, tornadoes are one of the most escapable of natural disasters, because you usually have warning they're coming can and can take cover.

This latest news out of North Carolina pretty much discounts all of that and makes me feel so powerless at protecting him from so much of what the world will bring his way.

Now all I can hope is that they don't choose to discuss the news in his first grade class come tomorrow morning. While I know he has to learn the realities of the world at some point, I'd like him to have as many years as possible not having to ponder such violent and senseless deaths that are completely out of our control. It's hard stuff for even adults to cope with -- to know that one day you're going about your life, and the next it's gone, just like that -- and even harder for little minds.

Best wishes to the families affected by this devastating weather as they attempt rebuild their lives.

Are your children scared of tornadoes or other natural disasters?

Image via YouTube

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