This news is not new. If you live in the south and haven’t heard the news and stories about Wednesday’s destructive tornados then you must be living under a rock. A very large rock that also managed to keep you safe during it all. Just a week or so ago, bad storms and tornados came through the south, causing some minor destruction to buildings and road signs in Tuscaloosa and then onward east into Alabaster and Pelham. I drove to my mom’s house that afternoon because I don’t have a basement at my house in Homewood. Luckily all was well, and me and the dogs headed back home when the storms had passed.
This past Wednesday morning, I was awakened by my roommate in the early morning hours because the sirens had gone off and she saw that a potential tornado was again heading our way. We piled all the pillows and cushions from the sofa into our little hallway in the center of the house and watched as James Spann tracked the storm. I called my mom, and found out her power had gone out, but they were listening to reports on the radio. After about 15 mins of strong winds, all was calm again, and I headed back to bed.
Wednesday afternoon my roommate and I were watching the weather reports and saw as a tornado dropped from the sky in Cullman.
It was so surreal. Neither of us had ever actually seen a tornado funnel on live TV before, as I’m sure most people in the south haven’t (hence why I had to take a picture!). We just don’t get tornados like that around here. Although they still call them tornados, our tornados are usually just walls of very strong winds. Never have I actually seen a funnel. After about 10 mins of just staring at the TV in shock, we lost power.
By Wednesday afternoon, as it became very clear that several more tornados were heading east from MS, my mom called and strongly suggested I bring myself, my dogs, and whoever else wanted to come to her house where we could go to the basement. So Greg and I and our crew of dogs headed to Hoover. About this time, the tornado was passing through Tuscaloosa, and upon arriving at my house I found out that it had passed directly over my sister’s fiance’s house. He is finishing up his last few semesters at UA, and he and 2 roommates rent a house off of 15th Street next to DCH. It was a VERY scary half hour before we could get any sort of communication with him to find out if he was ok. My sister, obviously, was absolutely scared to death. Thanks for God’s incredible mercy and protection, the guys had gone into the bathroom of the house when they heard the rumbling of the storm and saw the funnel. Minutes later, a huge tree fell onto their house, completely destroying the den. Windows were blown out throughout the house and in their cars parked outside. But they were all safe. Other homes in their neighborhood were not so lucky. Some were completely flattened. I can’t imagine what that must have been like to go through that. I’m so grateful for God’s protection over my (almost) brother-in-law and his friends. I can’t imagine not having him as a part of our family. He and my sister have been dating since their sophomore year of high school. He’s been like family for a very long time.
As far as our house goes, we still don’t have power, but there was no destruction. The tornado turned north and our area of town was spared from any damage. The only sign of a tornado was a pile of insulation that landed in my front yard. There is no telling what destroyed home it came from or how many miles it traveled from it’s original location. I just thank God for the safety of all those close to me. It’ll take a long time for the south to recover from all the damage, but I pray that we will come together and help our neighbors out.