The garbage truck woke me up this morning at 6am. I tried to get back to sleep but tossed and turned so I just threw off the covers, threw on some clothes and drove downtown. I wasn't the only one there in the early morning drizzle.
I first drove to the Gutherie Theater thinking I could get a view of the downed bridge from either the Mill City Museum area or the Stone Arch Bridge. No go. There is yellow crime scene tape strung all over the river area and most public viewing areas are closed off to the public. At first I thought it was because the president was coming and they didn't want easy access for snipers. I later found out that this tragedy is being treated as a crime and they are keeping tight tabs on the area until bodies are recovered and debris cleared.
After taking some photos from near the Mill City Museum, I decided to try the other side of the river and drove to the U of M. As I drove East, I passed a large motorcade of giant black SUVs with D.C. plates. The president was expected but hadn't yet landed so I wondered if this was the first lady's motorcade or the cars the President would use later. There wasn't a police present around them but it wasn't even 7am yet so I have no idea what the deal was with them. I did manage to click a photo of one of the SUVs though.
The East bank/West bank footbridge at the U of M was also closed to the public and heavy foliage blocked most of the view of the downed bridge. There were quite a few people out walking looking for a good place to view the damage. There was really no such place. Across the river we could see many police cars, ambulances, and other cars parked at a former public river park. It looked like command central.
After taking some photos, I left downtown and headed back to my relative suburban safety. I got home and went back to bed and snuggled close to my husband.
Hard as it is to imagine, this could have been a larger tragedy than it actually was and for that, I am thankful. I read an article today explaining how so many people could have survived a 60 fall from the collapsing bridge. It really is a miracle. That seemingly only 12 people died out of nearly hundreds is amazing. The other amazing thing is that the people who survived the fall immediately began to help others to get out of their vehicles, off the bridge, and into safer areas. With little or no regard for their own safety, the actions of these people were truly heroic. I only hope that should I ever be in such a situation, I would do the same.