Thursday, June 5, 2008

One less covered bridge in Indiana today (or, "So you wanna see what a tornado can do, huh?")

Today in Indiana, we’re mourning the loss of a bridge. Yes, a bridge.

Here’s how the Moscow covered bridge USED to look.

It crossed the Big Flatrock River, in Moscow, Indiana, Rush County. It was a double-span “Burr Arch Truss” structure about 346 feet long (including the overhangs). It was built in 1886 by Emmet L. Kennedy, and was the only double-span bridge built by the Kennedy family that was still standing.

Well, here’s how the bridge looks right now:

Thankfully, no one was on it when the tornado hit.

You know ... Indiana doesn’t get as many tornados as Kansas or Oklahoma, but we get our fair share, and we’re pretty much used to them (or as much as anyone can be to a natural disaster). But tornados are rather unique natural disasters in that they’re intensely personal -- it’s not at all unusual for one to wipe out an entire building and yet leave all of the surrounding buildings completely untouched.

When a tornado takes out a local landmark, it hurts in ways that are hard to explain. Sure, you can rebuild, but it’s never quite the same, because community history has been lost, and lost to everyone.

We’re very proud of our covered bridges in Indiana. They’re beautiful. Parke County has more covered bridges in one concentrated area than any other place in the world (and, in fact, is called the “Covered Bridge Capital of the World”). Rockville, Spencerville, Mansfield, and Veedersburg throw popular “Covered Bridge Festivals” every year. The longest existing covered bridge in the world (at this writing) is in Medora, Indiana (built in 1875, 458 feet long, including the overhangs).

Indiana had 91 covered bridges still standing (originally, there were hundreds). We’ve just lost one. That hurts.


SallyP said...

That's terrible. There are far too few covered bridges in the world. But then I always take it as a personal insult when ANY historic building gets destroyed. How many parking lots and raised ranches do we REALLY need?

It sure has been an awful season for tordadoes this year! They're everywhere and unusually destructive. I suspect the Weather Wizard.

Sea_of_Green said...

In Indiana, we usually have one really bad night of tornados per year. But so far, this year the attacks have been almost relentless!

Luckily, Mighty Mite has been sleeping through every single one of them. Storms don't seem to bother her!