Last night on the way to supper with several friends I heard breaking news on the radio that the 35W bridge crossing the Mississippi had collapsed in both directions. There was no more information at that point. I had to think fast - was anyone coming from the south side of town? Would they have taken 35W? It felt like a long time until we all met but it was only 10 minutes. Only one other couple had heard the news. What was supposed to be a surprise birthday gathering turned into all of us half talking, half straining our necks to see the TV in the bar area. It's amazing how fast everything can change.
First off, I am well as are all my friends and family. The place where I work has done a check of employees and so far we are not aware of anyone that was a part of the disaster. We're all very lucky.
I'm sure you've listened to the news and know as much as I do. 35W is the freeway that cuts the Twin Cities in half and it's the main way into Mpls. from the northeast. I've driven across this bridge many times and would have been going across it tomorrow to an appointment. This is going to make life in the area very different for a while. The divers are having trouble going into the water to recover the missing people until the bridge has been made safe. So there are many families who can do nothing but wait. In the meantime, the rest of us try to go about business as normal but the conversation keeps coming back to "the bridge". At work we pulled up the local news on the Internet, talked about places we've been near there, how often we used to cross the bridge, where we were when it happened. Yup, life will be strange for a while.
In the middle of all this, I have been reminded often of the amazing spirit that comes out in total strangers when something happens. I have heard many stories of people coming from the neighborhood to jump into the river to help save others. The Twin Cities will take a long time to heal from this, the missing bridge will long be a reminder of this tragic. I pray the friends and families of those still missing will feel the love and care of all those around who are praying for them.