[anzac] TESTIMONY from BRIDGE COLLAPSE

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From: "REVIVAL List" <prophetic@...>
Date: Thu, 09 Aug 2007 14:15:53 -0700
MINNEAPOLIS BRIDGE COLLAPSE - First hand account  


LORI's TESTIMONY - Thurs, August 02, 2007.

"35W Bridge....I had just passed it...." 

First *I pray that none of you or your family and loved ones were 
anywhere near the bridge when it collapsed* 

I was out running my usual course along the Mississippi river. I 
had ran underneath the bridge and was a few hundred feet on the 
other side when I heard this terrible loud explosion and continued 
creaking, and felt the rumble, I turned and saw the big cloud of dust 
and water and could only imagine that they were testing dynamite 
or something, until the dust began to clear. And then it took a
moment for my mind to register what had happened, it was eerily 
still and quiet, like a movie set. The bridge just sat in the river and 
many cars were sitting on the level pieces of roadway like they 
had just stopped to park. People began opening their doors and 
climbing out, then you began to focus on the cars that were 
precariously hanging, or stopped at a steep angle. Miraculously,
many of those people also opened their doors and came out, by 
this time many of us who were running or biking were 
accumulating on the walkway, and seemed in shock. Some of the 
passengers walked over to us as if they had just been out for a 
walk as well, many were obviously in shock. I comforted a girl in a 
Twins T-Shirt that had to be a new driver, her entire body was 
shaking, she was on the phone to her Mom trying to explain what 
had happened. Another woman described the feeling as sitting in 
her car and it just kept dropping in intervals *bam * bam * bam* her 
shoulder belt would put extreme pressure on her each time, like 
she was being suspended and held in a dropping parachute. A 
very old woman was led off by a young man, she was smiling and 
showing us her only injury - a bruised knee. 

The silence was eerie, it seemed like forever before a siren could 
be heard, and then it was a lone police car on the other side of 
the river. Quite a few men started heading to the huge blocks of 
pavement that were now resting in the river, as we all realized that 
not everyone would be so lucky to walk to safety. I noticed several 
cars were almost totally submerged and could only see one wheelbase.

And then the silence turned to chaos and countless police and fire 
engines arrived on the scene, fires started and there was a lot of 
yelling. At first none of the police seemed intent on our crowd 
which had formed a tight band very near the first drop of bridge, a 
mix of bystanders and survivors. A terrible explosion and burst of 
very dark black smoke erupted and burned our lungs and eyes,
and soon we were all pushed back another few hundred feet from 
the destruction. I'm not even sure the police realized there were 
survivors in our crowd. By this time I was crying, realizing what 
could have been and thinking of all the people and families that 
would be suffering. There was a school bus and it wasn't empty.

I couldn't run back home the way I had come. I ran up to 
Washington to cross 35W and looked back to where I had just 
been. Again it was like a movie setting - there were cars up to the 
point of the break, and many people just standing in the middle of 
the freeway. The bridge heading the other way had also become a
parking lot of gawkers. People had just stopped their cars and 
were standing on the other bridge in disbelief. I kept running and 
headed back to the river on the other side, and I couldn't stop 
crying. People were swarming to the river - I saw tons of people in 
Twins garb and realized there must have been a game. I ran to the 
top of gold medal park by the Guthrie and just tried to take it all in. 
I kept feeling this tremendous urge to pray - and not by myself. 
There were about 50 people gathered on top of the hill. I yelled out 
to the crowd, "Does anyone want to pray for the people on the 
bridge?" I'll be honest - they kind of looked at me like I was nuts. 
Was I? I yelled it again - finally a young woman and her boyfriend 
(in Twins T-Shirts) raised their hands and said YES! And then 
more gathered in - we had about 15 people standing in a small 
circle on top of this hill - we held hands and prayed.

And then I watched and listened for awhile. I listened to the 
countless conversations of people around me. 

"Mom, I'm fine, we had already parked our car."  
"It's on the news in Texas? I'm standing right here man - you can't 
believe it."
"I'm ok, really -wait, I have another call coming in." 

Suddenly I had this urge to get home and make sure Mark and 
Travis were safe. I knew neither of them were in that area, but I 
needed to KNOW. I was the only one running away from the fallen 
bridge. There were now hundreds gathering all along the shore -
people were coming out of the Guthrie office buildings and the
countless condos along the rivers edge. It seemed everyone was 
on their cell phone.

I turned up 4th and saw Mark coming down the street on his bike.
I just stopped and cried. He held me and we just stood for what 
seemed like a long time. He told me he had just talked to Travis 
who was on his way to St. Cloud -he was safe. Mark had been 
headed to a softball game when someone called him with the 
news. He knew I had left to run - he came back to find me. Nothing 
mattered at that moment except knowing that we were all safe. 
And I began the inevitable 'what if's'? What if I had been one 
minute slower? It was really hot when I had stepped outside - I 
didn't start running right away as I normally do - I was fiddling with 
my Ipod and even thought of walking down the one block to the 
river instead of running and changed my mind. 

Life can change in a moment. 

Later we watched the news in awe as I'm sure many of you did. 
Calls from friends and family came making sure we were ok. And 
most ended with, "I love you - so glad you're safe". And nothing 
else really matters*.....

This was an experience I will always remember. I thank God I was 
that minute slower, and I pray for the safety and well being of all 
those who were there. And I pray that the closest you and your 
family were to the tragedy was through your TV.... Thanks for listening. 

-Lori 
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