Friday, April 29, 2011

The Aftermath - Alabama Tornadoes - Part 1

It's been a crazy few days around here, but the four of us are safe and our immediate family is all accounted for.  We live between Tuscaloosa and Birmingham, and our area has been greatly affected by the recent storms.

It began early Wednesday morning with the first line of storms that crossed our area before the more devastating storms later in the day.  Criss was up, and I was awake but still in the bed.  It was some time before 6 am.  I've been told the sirens went off, but I never heard them.  All I heard was a loud rushing wind and cracking trees all around us.  There were power surges, and Silas ran to my room upset because the sound machine in his room was surging and making very loud noises.  I didn't have time to do anything.  I just remember thinking that something was about to fall on the house.  Thankfully nothing did.

Our power was out, but it wasn't until later that we realized that we were blocked in and couldn't leave our house.  We live on a corner lot, and a large tree and the top half of the power pole were lying across the main road, with the lines ripped from our house and blocking the side road that leads to our driveway.  There was no way to leave in any of our vehicles, but there was no damage to our house (other than the power lines that have to be reattached).  I am hoping that the power surges did not mess up any of our appliances.

We later learned that there were large trees down all down the road leading to our house.  A few houses had been damaged badly.  Also, our church is less than 10 minutes from our house.  The steeple was blown off, puncturing the roof above the nursery hallway.  It hit a water line and flooded the nursery hallway and part of the Sanctuary.  And this all happened just in the first line of storms.

That is part of the problem.  By the time the main line of storms hit, many in our area had already been without power all day, and it was difficult to know what was going on.  We had several radios but couldn't get any of them to work (of course).  Luckily, Criss had a radio attachment for his iPod.  We took turns all day with our iPods.  We would listen to one until it ran out and swap to the second while the other was charging outside in the van.

We also had a family friend (who did have power) watching the TV for us, ready to call and tell us when to head for safety.  Autumn's school was canceled for the day because there was no power.  Silas' preschool was open, but we were stuck in our house.  Nearly everyone was at least closing early for the day.

Since we were home with the power out all day, I kept the kids busy picking up.  It drives me crazy to be without power, falling over toys in the dark, and unable to find the things I need.  If I had to be in the dark, I at least wanted to spare my toes. J

I knew our area had been hit pretty hard when we couldn't even get anyone to move a downed power line from the middle of the road.  There was just so much damage already.  And the worst of the storm was still on its way...

To Be Continued


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