Thursday, May 5, 2011

Tornadoes Part Dos

Ok so I never would have dreamed I'd be posting again about tornadoes, and certainly not 2 weeks apart! Unless you've been under a rock for the last week you are fully aware of the massive tornado outbreak last Wednesday.

As can be seen by this Google Maps overlay, it was a busy day to say the least!

It was a looooong day that began at 4 a.m. Melissa and C had to be put on a bus at school for a choir trip to Orlando for 4 days so I took them to school and dropped them off. About 5:30 or so the tornado sirens began blaring again and we lost power around 6 and the first wave of serious winds and weather ripped through an area about 3 or 4 miles from here. It then cleared up and was fairly decent for a large part of the day, until late afternoon. We spent all day on the front porch and playing outside because we had no power and could only get weather updates on the radio in the car. It turned into an entire day of listening to the inevitable headed our direction. Things finally exploded around 5 in Tuscaloosa. We didn't have any way to fix dinner and I knew we had about an hour so we rushed down the road to where they had power and grabbed some Arby's. Just as we were leaving the sirens sounded again and we raced home in time to listen to the massive destruction via the radio skirt by downtown Birmingham. Once I heard the all clear for our neighborhood I threw the gang in the car and drove up to Vestavia drive because I knew we'd be able to see the once in a lifetime tornado over the mountain tops. Here is how wide it was:
We watched it cross the entire way across the Birmingham metro area and out of sight on into Northeast Alabama. It was surreal knowing what was happening under the mile or so wide swath of destruction.

Since then it's been a whirlwind of activity, information, and support for the entire Alabama family. It's been amazing to see the faith based organizations and churches step up to the plate and swing into action. So far it's been a model that when fully exposed will likely dumbfound much of the country and our government as to what is going on between neighbors. Twitter and Facebook have been abuzz with needs, needs being met, mobilization of resources, distribution points, etc... It's been an amazing thing to be a part of as the social media tools have seriously expedited the relief efforts. Even during the storms because we had no power, I could get some cell service and was able to stay abreast of the situation via the constant flurry of Twitter updates as these storms ravaged across the Alabama landscape all throughout the day.

I'm thankful to say the Freeman abode had no further damage in this round, our roof has been repaired from the last tornado whacking, and now we are on to repairing the fences, yard, and storage house. I hope to not be writing about any further tornado events in the near future.

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