Sunday, May 1, 2011
A Tornado's Fury
On Wednesday, April 27th, an outbreak of deadly tornadoes hit the state of Alabama. These horrific storms have killed at least 250 people in my state of Alabama alone. I feel so incredibly blessed and lucky to have survived these storms with my house fully intact. I was in Tuscaloosa, AL all day long on the day the mile-wide tornado came through. I watched it approach Tuscaloosa LIVE on TV...I will absolutely never forget that sight. I beat the storm only by about 1-2 hours. As it approached, I had a sick feeling in my stomach and tears in my eyes. Watching a monster that big approach a city, you know that there will inevitably be casualties. All you can do at that point is pray that those families get out of the path of destruction in time. Words just simply cannot describe watching that horror unfold.
Once it finished it's devastating path through Tuscaloosa, our local weather station announced that it was then headed straight for Birmingham. We were put in a state of "tornado emergency." After Birmingham, they were reporting it would be on a direct path to my suburb on the northeastern side of the city. After some debating about what I should do, I decided to load up our two dogs into the car, and head to my in-law's basement. I knew I'd be much safer there, since we do not have a basement. Shortly after I arrived, Brad and his parents also made it home from work. We hid in the safety of the basement with bated breath, waiting to see what would happen.
Miraculously, his parent's never lost power, so we were able to watch the TV and see that it had passed over us. Only later did we learn the startling news that the massive tornado lifted up into the sky just before it reached our area, and then touched back down shortly after it passed over us...by the grace of God.
After learning this, it's hard to describe how lucky and blessed we truly feel. I know that things could have been so much worse for us. A day after the storm, I had a work appointment in one of the worst hit areas, Pleasant Grove, AL. Driving through the destroyed city brought me to tears again. There are cities that have completely been wiped off the map. These areas look like war zones. Seeing photos on the news is one thing, but being there in the middle of it all is indescribable.
I urge you all to do what you can to help those affected by these storms, which is officially the deadliest string of tornadoes since 1925.
The photos in this post are all from Pleasant Grove, AL. I ask you all to please pray for these families.
Please visit THIS LINK to see some of the ways you can help.