On April 27, 2011, we were smack dab in the middle of the worst tornado outbreak in Alabama history. From what I gather, an EF1 hit my neighborhood. Later in the day and EF4 or 5 touched down only a couple of miles north of my house. You can’t image the destruction.
Before you say, “Oh, yes I can. I have a good imagination,” check out some Youtube videos. Here are a few to supplement your imagination:
Naturally, I documented in video my neighborhood. This video was taken after the EF1 tore down trees and threw them into houses throughout my locale.
Link to youtube.
Somehow, my house was untouched even though we have 14 huge pines in our backyard. Even my marigold pots where left sitting on the fence rail. Tornadoes are strange animals.
We lived without power for six days. For a coffee junkie like me, that’s not easy. I boiled water on a small charcoal grill every morning to fill the French press. Luckily, the post-storm weather was clear and very cool. It didn’t rain again until day six which was our return-to-power day.
Having no power was a minor inconvenience compared to the devastation some are still enduring. Hundreds of homes and business were destroyed. Enough new unemployment applications have been filed to jump the State figures by a tenth of a percent. Luckily, most of those will only be for a couple of weeks. The real loss is the 255 lives snuffed out by these ferocious winds. Buildings are being rebuilt, but some lives are permanently shattered.
If there is anything good that came from all this, it’s the feeling of community in the aftermath. There were no shortages of chainsaws. If you needed one, a neighbor was there. If you didn’t know how to use one, a neighbor was there. Food was shared. Reports of where to get the latest shipments of ice were broadcast. We all pulled together, each to his own abilities, to get through it. I have a better relationship with my neighbors because of it.
Two weeks later, I walked my streets. Hopefully, you can see the dedication to rebuilding we all have.
Two week follow up video.