I am sorry I haven't posted in a few days. At my home in Blount County we are still out of power, but I did return to Gulf Shores to work so I thought I could update everyone. I have been wanting to blog about other things such as the royal wedding and Osama Bin Laden, but nothing has the same importance as the devastation here in my state. The past few days have been a whirlwind. I am still in shock by everything that has happened and I know I will never forget Wednesday, April 27, 2011.
Once again I can never praise God enough for keeping me and my family safe. I am blessed to still have my Tuscaloosa apartment, and my house. I know so many who have lost everything and their families. It is so heartbreaking to even try to imagine how they feel. There are 30 counties out of the 67 that are heavily damaged and 8 that are lightly damaged. Those numbers are unreal. It is bad when one or two tornadoes touch down leaving those communities to rebuild, but have 38 counties with damage is unbelievable! The news has been reporting non-stop on the tornado relief and they have yet to talk about every community that needs help because there are so many. The tornadoes were very wide and visible which is uncommon here in the south, usually they are rain wrapped. They almost look animated.
I was at home on Wednesday morning because I was supposed to meet some of my Faulkner State students at UAB that day. I woke up at 6am to heavy thunder and high winds and my grandparents had come to my house for us to get in the basement. I wasn't taking it too serious because all I saw on the weather channel was a severe thunderstorm warning. As we were going down in the basement I heard the winds roaring and then it just stopped. When we came back up we had several trees that had fallen down, but thankfully they didn't hit the house.
We didn't have power from then on. The winds were hurricane force winds around 100 mph! There was some damage to my neighbors barn and there was trees down around the community. A tornado actually touched down in Guntersville causing some damage. We knew there would be a break in the weather so we started cleaning up the yard and went to get lunch. We got home around 2pm and there were already many tornadoes in the Huntsville area and one on the ground in Cullman. My grandparents came back to my house and we listened to the radio to find out where other storms were. Around 5pm there was a tornado headed our way so we went to the basement and then found out it was going to go around us. My granddad called me outside to show me the cloud and we never saw a very visible tornado, but I know there was one in that storm because others have pictures of it.
|I believe you can see the tornado in this picture|
This tornado had just hit down the road in Blountsville leaving businesses and homes destroyed. When I came back in, my grandmother said they were reporting a tornado that had done immense damage in Tuscaloosa. They were saying it had went down 15th street and crosses Mcfarland leaving Hobby Lobby, Big Lots, Krispy Kreme destroyed. I immediately started calling my roommate/bff Emily and couldn't reach her. I finally got in touch with her and thankfully she was eating near campus and was not harmed. She finally made it back to our apartment to see that the tornado barely missed it by going to the right. Everything around it was severely damaged. Several people at the apartment had roof/window damage and many cars were destroyed. To make a long story shorter, all of my friends had survived. Some have apartment and car damage and some lost their homes all together but the main thing was they were safe. I feel horrible not being able to say that about the rest of the UA family. I believe the death toll in Tuscaloosa is 39 with 570 people still missing. The communities surrounding campus such as Rosedale, Alberta, Holt and many more were severely damaged, nothing is left standing.
All of the pictures below are from facebook friends
|Looking down 15th Street. You can almost see all the way down.|
|You could barely see the hospital for all the tree & houses and now it is plain to see.|
|houses in Cedar Crest|
|Holt community in Tuscaloosa|
|a dryer wrapped around a tree!|
That one tornado stayed on the ground until North Carolina destroying everything in its path. There were so many more tornadoes that affected the state of Alabama. I believe the last death toll I heard was 250. There are ways to donate by sending food, toiletries, diapers, clothing, etc. or by donating to the Red Cross. There are so many pictures of other places around the state that are just devastating. Please continue to pray for this state and the people who have been affected!
If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land- 2 Chronicles 7:14
The person filming this video was too close for comfort!