My poor home state of Alabama has been at the center of one of the worst tornado breakouts in recent history. I think I saw a report that there were 173 tornadoes in that one storm system. Over 300 deaths across all the states that were affected. No telling how many were injured. It was horrible.
I was on the phone with my family throughout the afternoon and evening. I was watching the local Alabama news channel on my computer. Listening to live coverage of the storms. I was 900 miles away from the storms and an absolute nervous wreck.
I lived in Alabama for years so I know that the weather guys often get excited when there is bad weather and can spin me up pretty fast with their play by play of what they are seeing on the radar. It is sometimes frustrating when they get all excited and then you find out it just looked like a rotation, but never really touched down. Lots of false alarms.
This time was different.
You could tell they were scared. You could hear them in the background of the newscast calling their own families and telling them to get to a safe place. They couldn't keep up with all the tornado warnings, with all the individual storm cells that were moving across north Alabama. They just finally said "We can't track all these storms. Please just get to a safe spot and stay there until we tell you it is safe to come out."
With such strong tornadoes there are not very many safe places to go except for underground.
So much damage. Some of the homes are just gone. Not just destroyed or damaged. GONE. My sister-in-law Debbi's little sister lost her house. Completely gone. Nothing left. Not one wall standing. Thankfully, they were not at home. Just one of a million stories that you hear of people surviving by happenstance, luck or divine intervention. Miracles.
Everyone has a story. Where they were when it happened. How terrifying it was.
In the aftermath, they are cleaning up. Searching for survivors.
They are without power. Can't get gas. Under a dusk to dawn curfew.
They are also happy to be alive.
Pulling together to help one another.
Out of this tragedy, they will rebuild.
Buildings will rise up and people will move on.
For now though, I think they could all just use a big hug. Just to let them know, that we know it was awful. We know it was terrifying. We know they lost a lot.
So to my sweet home Alabama...I am so sorry for your loss. My condolences to all the families that have lost loves ones in these storms. My heartfelt prayers go out to you. For all of those who have sustained catastrophic loss of homes and property. My heart breaks for you. I wouldn't know where to begin to rebuild.
Just know that lots of people are pulling for you...especially me.
With love, from a gal in Texas, whose heart will always belong to Bama!