My heart is so broken and sad as I see the devastating photos of the areas where these horrific tornadoes tore apart cities that I am familiar with. So many homes & businesses were destroyed, but more sadly... many lives were lost.
Last night, we watched as the meteorologists on The Weather Channel saw the huge tornado form over Tuscaloosa, Alabama. We saw the horror on their faces as they realized how devastating this tornado was going to be. This is when my heart sank. All I could think about were the many students at The University of Alabama that live there. I also thought about my previous boss who is from there and all of the people that he must be worried about. (I may even call him today and let him know that I am thinking and praying for his friends.)
As the tornado moved to the north east, we learned that the University campus was spared. I breathed a sigh of relief.... for a moment.
This huge tornado was now headed for the city of Birmingham, in Alabama. I immediately started praying for the friends and families that I know, personally, that live there.
The Weather Channel was able to show it's viewers the ACTUAL tornado as it passed thru the north suburbs of Birmingham!!! The tornado was HUGE and was moving VERY fast!
Thankfully, we learned that those that we know of that live there, were safe.
From Birmingham, this same tornado continued on a path toward the town of Dadeville, where it continued to do damage there and to other small towns as it approached my state... the USA state of Georiga.
About 11pm, I sent my girls to bed to try and get some sleep and promised them that I would stay awake so that I could keep watch and wake them if needed. David went to bed at his usual time, because he had to get up at his usual 2:00am time. (Yes! I know it's a crazy time!)
As I continued to watch... this huge tornado crossed over into Georgia and was headed for the town of Rome. I immediately began praying for a family that we know that lives there. We have since learned that they are safe, but the nearby town of Ringgold, Georgia was not so lucky.
Soon, my attention turned closer to home as storms began to approach where we live. I watched as they got closer and closer. As they did... a Tornado Warning was issued for our area. Miranda was awake by then, unable to sleep. I told her to go wake Ashley as I went and woke David. We put our shoes on and gathered pillows and blankets. I even brought in the 3 bike helmets that we have, from the garage and one of David's old motorcycle helmets! We never put them on, but we had them ready to go! I also put the leashes and collars on the dogs.
The weather people always tell you to go to the lowest level of your house and/or into a center room, away from windows, doors and outside walls. Our house has one problem.... we do NOT have a center room!! My kitchen is in the center of my house, but it is exposed to windows and doors. But.... we decided that this would be the best place to be.
Our local news station did and EXCELLENT job of covering this storm! Since we didn't lose power, we continued to watch the TV as our weatherman watched and reported on the possible tornado that was forming near our house.
I stood in the kitchen and kept an eye on the TV and outside. I was watching for the wind to pick up, but it never really did. It looked like from the radar on TV that the storm was going to miss us, thankfully! We never really "hunkered down" in our safe place, but we were close enough to get there if needed.
The storm DID miss us and all we got was a little wind and a little rain. Unfortunately, this storm DID eventually produce a tornado that did damage in the next county over. I talked to a lady that I work with and a friend of hers lost her house to the tornado. Thankfully, her friend is ok.
Ashley and David went back to bed, but Miranda and I continued to watch as another line of storms was following the one that had just missed us. The storm came, but did not produce a tornado. We eventually went to bed, but only got about 4 hours of sleep.
This morning, I believe that I heard that this was the worst outbreak of tornadoes in over 40 years! I also heard that the tornado that hit Tuscaloosa Alabama and continued for so long.... packed winds of over 200 mph and was a mile wide! And.... it traveled for over 200 miles, doing damage as it went! Over 240 lives were lost.
I titled this post - Terror, Prayer, & Praise - because these were & are my feelings. Last night, was a night of "terror". I know that I was afraid and I can't imagine the amount of terror that the people in the path of these tornadoes must have had! I "prayed" for not only the safety of me & my own family, but for all others in the paths. I offered "praise" to God for keeping my family and those friends and family that I know, safe as well.
Today is a beautiful sun-shiny day. I am having trouble enjoying it tho, because I know that others are grieving and picking up the pieces of what was once their homes and their lives.
Here are a few photos that I found on MSN and other news sites. Please take a moment to say a prayer for all who lost loved ones, homes and businesses.
|The tornado that hit Tuscaloosa, Alabama|
|What's left of a McDonald's in Ringgold, Georgia|
|A family sifts thru what is left of their home in Warm Springs, Georgia|
|Pratt City - A suburb of Birmingham, Alabama|
|Pleasant Grove, Alabama|