The Wild Fires Of Tennessee ~ Prayers Needed
It all happened while I was getting ready for bed. My parents had taken a vacation up to Sevierville, Tennessee for the weekend, having just left earlier that day, so I had the house mostly to myself. The kids were sleeping and I was just checking social media before going to sleep for the night.
What started out as one small article with little to no information exploded over night...
By the time I woke up the next morning, my phone was overloaded with messages and calls. Tennessee was burning down. Thousands of questions ran across my mind. Are my parents okay? I have extended family there! Are they doing alright? Where are the fires at? How bad are they? Is everyone just exaggerating?
I couldn't believe most of what I was hearing so I went to the news.
Devastation was all there was. Fires burning through Gatlinburg, death tolls rising, hundreds injured. The news headlines kept flashing across the screen and for a moment, my heart stopped.
I called my parents and thank God, they were fine. The fires were not close enough to them although they could see the smoke on the mountains from their hotel.
I'm not sure if at the time of my call to them that the fires had really reached their worst yet..
Seeing The Images
I love to vacation to Tennessee. Any part really. It is my favorite state and since I was a child I have always wanted to retire and move up there in a cabin in the woods. It is heart breaking to see the images I have been seeing since the fires have taken place.
From what I have seen and read, the city of Gatlinburg is mostly unscathed, but the surrounding area is gone. I watched most of the videos and news with tears in my eyes, only being able to imagine what the families were going through. The firefighters have worked so hard to combat these fires and prevent any further damage that they could.
People lost not only their belongings and homes in these fires, but also their lives. So far, the death toll has rose to 13 people as they recovery efforts continue through the state. I cannot fathom what these people must have experienced having to flee their homes as the flames licked up everything they could.
Rims Melted Off Of A Car From The Fires
More than 14,000 people were evacuated from Gatlinburg, Tenn., when a series of wildfires threatened buildings across the area.
"As a pastor, I'm heartbroken for people in our community and our church," Spencer said. Yet "at the same time ... I'm so proud of first responders and linemen and volunteers, people just calling and saying, 'I want to help.'" - Pastor Dan Spencer of First Baptist Church in Sevierville, Tennessee.
British couple Adrian and Lesley Hughes were lucky to escape the wildfires unscathed after they slept through the evacuation order in their hotel. They woke up to find themselves completely alone in the hotel with only emergency responders on the streets. They were told to quickly pack their things and evacuate. They got out okay. - Mirror world news.
A missing woman and her two daughters have been identified by family as three more victims of this weeks deadly wild fires of eastern Tennessee. Constance Reed and her two daughters had been missing since the wind whipped fire storm had erupted Monday in Sevier county and swept through Gatlinburg, have died in the fires. In loving memory of Constance Reed & Daughters Chloe Reed, 12. Lily Reed, 9. - 11Alive news
I firmly believe that God is at work for these people, despite the devastation they are facing.
Even in the midst of these wildfires, God's hands were working to protect. The death tolls could have been much higher and the damage could have been much worse. Not by accident or happen stance, the rains came only days after the fires ensued helping put an end to their ravaging of our beautiful mountains. There will still be much to rebuild and a lot of damage to deal with, but the prayers his people have been answered and the fires are no more!
I have included videos of live footage and photographs taken from the damage. Although the fires are out, please continue to pray for the beautiful state of Tennessee as they recover from this horrid event!
WestGate Resort - The Aftermath
Beautiful Westgate Resort, loved by many, now stands as a reminder to how consuming wildfires can truly be.