Friday, April 29, 2011

april's fury

This past wednesday was a strange and scary day here in Alabama. The tv weather men had been talking about possible severe weather since last week,but I don't usually pay too much attention since springtime thunderstorms seem to be mostly what it is all about.
My husband went to work as usual, the girls also were working at the salon in town, I went to the store, my usual routine. The air was very heavy, warm and windy outside, so I wondered if something was really brewing.Earlier that morning some surrounding areas had wind damage and loss of power, but nothing too close to us.
I turned the tv on and the local weather was on talking about the storms in Mississippi, but still didn't pay too much attention, until around 2PM. My husband came home early from work because of rain and we watched together as a live camera on top of a bank in Cullman, a town about 53 miles from Gadsden, happened to be filming a forming tornado. We watched it go from a maybe tornado to a large , scary and powerful force that decimated the historic downtown. Last year Ray and I went to a large craft fair in Cullman and went to a cute coffee shop in the downtown. The entire downtown was wiped out.
Then a few hours later we watched a bigger one head through Tuscaloosa,destroying everything in its path which is a two hour drive from here. The same tornado ripped through Birmingham, an hour from Tuscaloosa and an hour from us. It then followed a path directly towards our town , first going through Trussville and Springville (only 25 miles from here). As we watched it approach on TV, we began to discuss what we should do. Our next door neighbor Beverly lives alone, so we wanted her to come with us, whether it was to our hallway bathroom or to a friend's house a half mile away that had a basement. Our other single lady neighbor had a small basement and has mentioned before that as soon as the sirens went off, she headed down there with her dogs, so we knew she would be ok.
Well the news said we had about 25 minutes until it reached Gadsden area, so Beverly was fetched and our friends said to come to their basement just as the sirens went off and it began to rain hard.
For some odd reason, I grabbed a gallon of home made green iced tea, the bananas I had bought earlier and we ran to our car and to our friends. We never lost power, so we could see the live report from the local news and within minutes it has passed about 8 miles south of us. I am thankful to have friends with a basement since this crazy tornado was the same one on the ground since Tuscaloosa, eventually making its way to Rome Georgia!After a few minutes we returned home and just watched the local news all night. The devastation of the areas all around us is heart wrenching.
My husband didn't realize that the towns north of us were so badly affected because because we are at the edge of the TV viewing area, so he drove to a town for some work to find that there was no power at all there or at the neighboring town. His gas was low and he thankfully made it to another small town that had only 2 gas stations with 1/4 mile long lines. He spent 1 1/2 hours on line before making it back to Gadsden. He called around at the car dealers he works at and found that power was out for an expected 4 days. Which is why we headed to Florida to visit our daughter, son in law and grandson! On the way out of town we saw where the Tuscaloosa tornado crossed the road just south of us, and another place like it just north of Macon, Georgia.
Many lives were lost, entire neighborhoods or towns destroyed, but also a lot of thankful people whose lives were spared.
When we return home, we want to try to do something to help towards relief efforts because there are thousands of hurting people around and we have been blessed to be spared from it.
Hope everyone out there in blogland has been safe, I need to catch up on posts since we were driving all day yesterday!

1 comment:

  1. I am so thankful to hear you all are OK. I've been concerned. Such a terrible tragedy for Alabama and elsewhere.