We were able to get about one block west and almost two blocks north
of the WTC when we heard a deafening noise. The south tower was
coming down. The most frightening thing about the collapse was the
ball of debris. In my wildest dreams, I could have never imagined
what it did.
It appeared to grow like a nuclear mushroom cloud and its movement
seemed to rival that of a fast train. It was the first time I actually
screamed out loud. It was coming towards us quick and we were not
going to be able to outrun it. It caught us all right, but just
the light dust from the outer edges. It tasted like concrete.
Even though we were caked with soot and dust, we saw our first light
at the end of the tunnel. Karly's school was less than two blocks
away. When we arrived, there were many people in tears, the total
disbelief of everything thus far that was happening right in front
of their eyes. Within five minutes, everyone on the West Side Highway
and the thousands on Chambers were given marching orders by officials
to walk north on West Side Highway about six miles to 38th street
to the boat ferries that would take us all across the Hudson River
to New Jersey.
No more than ten minutes into the march, the North tower collapsed
and it seemed like everyone around us started crying out loud, kids,
adults, seniors, everyone.