Chapter XIV, Debris

Mayor Vaughan and North Carolina Governor Patrick McCrory toured devastated parts of Greensboro for the second time in less than two years. Not since the news was leaked that Mayor Vaughan had left Donald because of her relationship with Melissa Greer were people so angry with the mayor. Many had believed Mayor Vaughan had slept her way into her job as executive director of the Guilford Green Foundation-- a local non profit dedicated to uniting community, engaging, empowering, advocating on behalf of LGBT people and their allies, and connecting the community to diverse opportunities and resources--  and that working a full time job made it impossible for her to fulfill her duties as mayor of the city.

Still others were angry that she had managed to get City Council to grant her powers that were once the responsibility of a full time city manager even though the Mayor is only part time. People were saying emergency management, once the job of the city manager, could not be trusted to a part time mayor untrained and inexperienced in emergency management skills. Still, Nancy Vaughan refused to give up anything that resembled power or control.

Investigators had learned that both the airport and Purolator Facet explosions were caused by remotely detonated charges placed in close proximity to liquid hydrogen. In the case of the airport the hydrogen along with numerous other explosive chemicals and oxidizers were on the Airgas delivery truck that had driven into the tunnel under the airport just as it had done every Tuesday morning for over two decades. The bomber could have been miles away watching the truck via telescope or possibly even GPS tracking device-- no one could be sure.

Purolator Facet, a manufacturer of parts for helicopters, M-1 Abrams tanks, Trident Nuclear submarines, various jet airplanes both civilian and military, huge cast iron bells are used to heat treat metals to specific hardness. The fuel used to heat the metals once placed inside the cast iron bells is liquid hydrogen stored in a 10,000 gallon vertical tank located at the back of the building as the photograph taken from before the explosion shows. With no security on site, anyone could have easily drove their car right next to the tank, got out, attached a detonator and sped away in less than a minute.

A city whose manufacturing base located mostly on the west side of town, surrounding its only transportation hub now shut down, and dependent primarily on the manufacture of items for military use was not only a target for home grown terrorism as this was believed to be but also a prime target of international terrorism as well.

To add to the Mayor's problems was her maiden name, Barakat. While Barakat is used by both Jews and Muslims, Nancy Barakat Vaughan had never disclosed to the public from which her family came. This lead many on every side to be suspect of her. And with people getting killed people were looking for excuses to point their fingers at anyone they could find.

Cleaning the debris from the streets and highways required about 48 hours and traffic was again able to flow as if nothing had ever happened. Cleaning up the debris of bodies, buildings and burned down forests would take months. Cleaning up the debris that have become Nancy Vaughan's biggest nightmare had yet to begin.

Please continue reading Chapter XV, Exodus.