Sunday, May 1, 2011

The Night the Lights Went Out in Alabama

All of Alabama had heard earlier in the week that bad storms were possible on Wednesday. We were watching TV all afternoon to see where they were, where they were headed. We were watching as it hit Tuscaloosa, then watched as the TV camera captured a live shot of the monster tornado, a mile wide , hitting Birmingham. We're thirty miles north east of Birmingham. And then the lights went out and the sirens sounded and we took cover.

We were blessed in that our neighborhood was spared. I mean there were not even any leaves blown off our trees. All of our family members are safe. We were so lucky that I feel guilty. We had no power for three days but that's not even worth mentioning. Some people in our community still don't have power; some don't have water. A half a mile away houses were blown off their foundations. Twenty miles away in any direction there is utter and total devastation. The scope of this disaster is beyond belief. The monster storm that hit Tuscaloosa and Birmingham stayed on the ground all the way into Georgia. Three tornados hit Cullman, a mid sized city twenty miles north of here. That whole county has no power and no water. Neither does the county north of there where a power plant took a direct hit. All over north Alabama small towns and communities are gone, just gone. One town has 80 percent of it's population unaccounted for. People from these places are coming into the store in our little town to find food and water and gas. I have heard so many horror stories that I am emotionally drained.

The help and support from people has been phenomenal. Anyone who has a chainsaw has been out clearing roads. Churches are gathering clothes and supplies and getting them where they're needed immediately. A restaurant in our little town is giving free food to everyone until the power is back on. I know it can't be enough, so many people have lost everything, but we're doing the best we can to take care of our neighbors.

Count your blessings. Pray for us.
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