Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Alabama Tornadoes

Last month, we had another round of tornadoes tear through our state. Our area was hit hard with tornadoes less than a year ago on April 27, 2011. The weathermen talked about the threat of tornadoes for days, but I think most people kinda brushed it off since we always have talk of severe weather but rarely ever actually have any. When we woke up that morning, it was to the sound of tornado sirens. A tornado had hit Cahaba Heights early that morning. It was a small tornado, but it did a lot of damage. The weathermen had only talked about bad storms for that afternoon, not the morning, so I knew it was going to be a bad day. Thankfully I had just quit my job and was staying home with Bryson so I was able to keep an eye on the weather the whole day and have everything ready for us in the front bathroom in case a storm did hit. I remember sometime around 1 or 2 pm, I was watching the local news station and saw a tornado form in Cullman. It was crazy to watch it form live on tv right before my eyes! I was talking to my dad while it was happening and the whole thing was just unreal. Then a few hours later, there was a tornado warning issued for Tuscaloosa. Robert had just got home from work, Thank God, and we both watched as that tornado formed and destroyed the city of Tuscaloosa. It was massive, and scary. I have never seen anything like that before.  It was crazy to see it live on tv and to see all the debris being thrown around in the air. I figured that it would die down before it hit anywhere near me, so I didn't worry too much. I kept watching the news to make sure we didn't need to go to our safe place. At one point it seemed like the storm was coming our way, so we headed to the bathroom. I called my mom so she could keep us updated while we were in there. When she gave us the ok, we got out, cooked dinner and sat down to watch more of the weather. Not too long after we sat down, the meteorologist said that the storm was still on the ground and was heading toward the Grayson Valley area. That's where my parents lived. The radar showed a huge debris ball and the meteorologist was naming streets in my parents neighborhood. That's when I got scared. I called them to tell them to go to the basement. They did, so I waited. After it passed, I tried to call them, but there was no answer. After trying unsuccessfully for over 10 minutes, I panicked! I called my brother to see if he was able to reach them. He wasn't either. We both got really concerned and tried again. We finally got an answer and they were safe. The tornado had lifted up over their house! My dad peeked out the window by the stairs to the basement when he noticed that it got really quiet outside. That's when he saw a large cloud circling over the house. We later saw a picture that somebody had taken of the sky in their area when the tornado went through, and he said that's exactly what it looked it. Once the path of the tornado was released, it was so crazy to see that the storm stayed on the ground for so long, then literally lifted up over their house, then touched back down again a few miles later. I still to this day do not know how they got so lucky. Later in the night, more damage reports were released. I wasn't too concerned since I didn't know anybody that lived in Tuscaloosa. But then one of the news stations reported that Pleasant Grove was destroyed, specifically the neighborhood behind the Hill's grocery store. That's where our friends Carl and Joanna live. I got really worried and tried to call them. Their house phone was not working and we couldn't reach them on their cell phones. We were hearing reports of deaths in the area and got really scared. The only thing I could think to do was send a text to them and anybody else that may have talked to them. Finally a few hours later, I received a text from my friend Joanna saying that they were ok It think that day taught everybody to be more weather aware.

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