The day my heart broke in T-Town ~ I remember waking up to the tornado sirens around 6AM the morning before and saw that our power had gone out. The weather was fine by the time I got out of bed but on the drive to work, the destruction was unbelievable. Trees were laying on the ground and branches were broken and twisted. Some of the larger trees were on roofs and even through the walls of the some of the homes. We felt so lucky that our house was unharmed. However, we heard the storms were supposed to be worse that evening. Luckily the power came back on an hour or two before the the second round of storms were to hit us. We put on the news to see how bad it was going to be and that is when we saw the mile long tornado destroying everything in its path in Tuscaloosa – a place I once called home. I felt sick in the pit of my stomach thinking about all my friends that still live there. A few were asking questions on facebook from their phones what was happening, their power was out and they were scared. How do you explain something so devastating? It then became impossible to call or get a hold of anyone because the phones were down. Birmingham was on the list of places the storm was going to go through next. So Bryant, Josh, Emily and I all went to the basement to build a barricade of mattresses and pillows. However, I was thinking to myself how insignificant we were compared to the size of what we had just seen.
Once the storm passed by us – we felt safe again but could not say the same for so many others. Hundreds were killed, approximately 344, and thousands were injured and had lost so much. Everything they had worked all their lives for – gone in a moment. It was the largest and one of the deadliest tornado’s ever recorded in the United States history. I eventually reached all of my friends, knowing they were safe but some of them lost all their belongings, homes, vehicles, but at least they were safe.
A week after the storm, we decided we had to do something to help. In reality no one knew where to start. We decided to collect what we could in donations and it was heartwarming the way people gave and gave. We collected $745.00 that we knew would help out and people donated so many things – even pet food for the poor animals who also lost their families and homes. We drove to Tuscaloosa to give our donations as well as help in any way we could. Once we arrived, it was jaw dropping. The devastation was indescribable. I attempted to document what I could but the pictures can not express the true sorrow that hit the town that I love. It will take years and years for them to recover from this. Just because it is not flooding the news everyday now as other things are being talked about, it does not mean the sorrow and sadness and especially the need has gone away. Please take the time to help HERE. Every little bit counts and it’s never too late.
Above is the house I lived in when I went to University of Alabama. Below is across the street from from what use to be my home.
We also have to remember all the animals that lost their homes and their owners 🙁 HERE is a link to reuniting the two.
I met this sweetest couple who survived losing everything. Here’s Herman Acker standing in front of what used to be his home. He said he didn’t care that he lost everything, that he’s just glad he and his wife survived. He said when the tornado came through it ripped the roof off the house and he laid on top of his wife to protect her. They were okay in the end but not all their neighbors survived.