Sunday, March 16, 2008

Atlanta Tornado

A tornado landed in downtown Atlanta on Friday night. The tornado landed on my loft complex. The Fulton Cotton Mill Lofts and the Stacks lofts in downtown Atlanta. I was not at my loft complex. I was a half-mile down the street at my girlfriend's house. We heard the tornado outside but it wasn't immediately apparent what was going on to me, because I hadn't been in a tornado. The trees were blowing horizontal and it was very loud.

Here is a picture of the building next to the building I live in:



If you look at the water tower in the upper middle and go down to the bottom of the building, that is where I run on a treadmill and read books by literary authors and the television broadcasting bad programming above my head in front of me on silent.

Here is the building on the right from another angle:



The tornado landed on top of this building and made 4 floors 'pancake' onto one another. This building has been standing for more than 100 years.



My girlfriend and I drove past the building right after it happened, not quite realizing the damage, though there was brick in the street. I have never seen so many trees down. You can't drive anywhere because the cops are blocking streets that aren't blocked by trees.

The building I live in is right next to this building. You can't see it in the photo. It is a much smaller building.

Around midnight on Friday night, about 2 hours after the hit, I came home half-drunk to see what happened and the cops would not let me go to my door or verify that my place was intact. They were not letting people go into the complex more than a little. My building was blocked and we had to go around a back way.

By my building there were two cops. They told us to leave. I said I wanted to look at my place and the guy said I couldn't and to leave and I still kept looking. The windows on my apartment seemed to be okay from where I was standing, but there was a huge pile of rubble in front of my door and all the other apartments in my building were damaged, including the units on both sides of me. There are only about 12 apartments in my building. Some had their roofs ripped open. The cop said if I didn't leave he would arrest me.

I haven't been allowed to enter the complex since then and I am not sure what happened inside my apartment, to my stuff.

Books and stuff. And clothes. And some stuff.

I was trying to sell my loft but now the buildings are fucked. The roofs got ripped off 3 out of 4 buildings. I don't know when we'll be allowed back in.

The shirt I am stuck wearing is not one of my favorite shirts.

They have now discovered 2 people dead in the rubble. They are still looking. Many others were hurt. I'm fine.

I don't know.

Earlier Friday morning I'd gotten a letter of bad news about money. I was angry because it was a bullshit situation that will cost me money. I was angry about bad momentum that seems to have been piling on me. I was in the parking lot at a gas station, putting gas into my tank that does not have a gas cap because someone stole it for the fourth time.

While pulling out of the Texaco on Friday morning about ten hours before the tornado came, I talked at god. I said, "If you're going to bring it, you might as well bring it all."

I said that and then I went to my parents' house to go out for my mother's birthday.

For dinner I ate veal.

12 comments:

Bradley Sands said...

Really glad to hear you're ok, Blake. Sad to hear about your loft.

eunuch said...

Glad you're alright.Let me know if yo need a shirt.

Josh Maday said...

That's crazy, blake. I'm very happy to hear you're okay. Keep us updated. Email if you need anything at all.

BLAKE BUTLER said...

hey thanks all. i appreciate the words.

Mike Young said...

Geez, dude. I too am very relieved that you're okay. Email if you need anything.

Kendra Grant Malone said...

yes, agreed. glad you are okay. phew.

call me if you need anything in the world (not an overstatement).

KEN BAUMANN said...

Yes, very happy you're okay.

Add me to that "need something" email list.

Consider this insurance that you can cash anytime. Just let me know.

The Man Who Couldn't Blog said...

holy smokes! glad you're all right.

Lacey said...

Glad to know you're alright but SHIT! That kind of stuff is crazy. Beware the Ides of March. A Crane fell on a building in New York and killed 4 people and a glass fell off my sister's shelf and sliced her wrist open. Being displaced like that is no fun. I was locked out of New Orleans (with everyone else) for a few months. Weird.

Justin Dobbs said...

a dark twist of fate seems to have descended on your neighborhood

Adam R. said...

Whoa. Standing in solidarity, inasmuch as such a thing makes sense.

BLAKE BUTLER said...

ken, that is cool that you do that. awesome.

thanks again everyone.