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Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Tornados in Alabama

Many of you know I live in Alabama,  in Tornado Alley.  Once again our state suffered a terrible tragedy on Sunday. Twenty three people were killed and much devastation occurred in Lee Coutnty.  The first tornado watch was given at 11am  and the storm hit at 1;38.  With new advances in weather forecasts, we do have more warning than we have had in the past. But when an F4 tornado hits an area, there is little you can do but pray.

I have seen one F4 tornado in my life and it was in 1989. We lived in Huntsville, Alabama at the time. I can remember that the day was unseasonably warm for mid November.  But we know that the temps change from one extreme to the next here quite often.  I had picked my children up from school and we were settled for the afternoon when the storm started. At first it seemed to be just wind. My son, Ben and I were standing in the front door, watching the trees swaying wildly. It was mesmerizing and then the sirens went off. We only had a small interior bathroom so all four of us huddled there until the sirens stopped. I can remember being worried about Marvin and it turned out he had arrived at the house but the lightning was so bad, he stayed in his car.  Then we heard the news that south east Huntsville was just devastated. The tornado occurred around 4:30 when people were in their cars in rush hour traffic. Twenty one people were killed that afternoon. You can still see pictures of the damage online.  It made quite the impression on me and from then on, when there was a tornado warning, I put all of us in the bathroom. One of two times we drug a twin mattress inside with us! You want to cover your head the best you can.

This tornado occurred before there were many cell phones and I knew the phones would be jammed so I called my mother to let her know we were ok. She was busy when I called tutoring one of her students so she just said, "Ok" and hung up!! Marvin called his parents as well. Later that evening, Mother called me back after she had seen the pictures on the nightly news and told me she was very glad I had called with an update on our safety.

My heart goes out to those dear people, Huntsville was a big city and the worst of the damage was dealt with in a timely manner. Beauregard is a small town and I am sure their resources are limited.  Alabamians pull together in hard times and I am sure we will stand Alabama Strong once again. Please pray for the people of Beauregard as they try to put their lives back together.

15 comments:

Ramblings of a Retired Lady said...

Such a tragedy and I do pray for those involved. I cant imagine how I would have felt or what I would do....just be thankful to be alive.

LaNelle said...

Arlene, sending prayers & love to all affected by these devastating tornadoes ...In Georgia as well. May God give them the strength they need...

Robin in Virginia said...

I have been thinking of you and the rest of the state. Praying for all affected in Alabama and Georgia.

Sandi@ Rose Chintz Cottage said...

The news is shocking! I have prayed for the people there in your state as well as for those in Georgia. God bless them! I'm glad it didn't touch your area.
We never get tornadoes here although we had a freak one when I was expecting our first child. I was seven months along when the tornado tore through our mini home park and overturned several homes. One lady who was also expecting lost her baby when her home was overturned. Some of our windows were broken and the end of our home was dented very badly. I'm so thankful it wasn't worse. I will never forget the terror of that day and I feel so deeply for the folks whose lives have been devastated on Sunday. May God watch over them and give them strength and comfort at this time.

Terri D said...

So very sad and devastating. A blogging friend of mine, Lanie, who died of cancer a few years ago, lived in Oklahoma and was terrified of tornadoes. Her hubby purchased and installed a bunker in their backyard so she had a place to go and be safe. He is a truck driver and wasn't always home with her and their son, so it was peace of mind for all of them. Very scary!! Prayers lifted for all affected.

Mary Hutchins said...

I was so sad to see the news of the loss of life from these tornados. I've been through one and I pray I never go through another. It was good to hear you are okay.

Ann said...

This is so very sad to me! I cannot imagine living through one of these storms! I am sending so many prayers for all affected in ANY way - so sad.

Pattie Davidson said...

We live across the river in Ga, Midland, we were 2 miles from Ellerslie where the storm kept going. Our area too is a mess. I have never seen anything like this. We did not lose any lives but many homes were destroyed. We did not have any damage but many of our friends do. Prayers for all of those affected by this storm!

Mari said...

It's so sad! We're praying for the people down there.

Mary said...

I'm so relieved to hear that you were not affected, I thought of you and your family when I heard about the tornado. I can't imagine how terrifying it is to be near one. I will keep the people of Alabama in my prayers.

The French Hutch said...

So many lost souls and total devastation. We were under a watch for awhile but we only had severe thunder storms. The tornado that devastated Lee county was a lot like the tornado that hit Tuscaloosa April 27, 2011. I will never forget that day. Prayers for everyone touched by the Lee County tornado. Thank you for this post...........

Anonymous said...

So scary, Arlene. Prayers sent to Alabama! xo

Dianna said...

I am sorry to be so late getting around to blog reading today. But you and two other blog friends were the first ones that I thought of when I heard about the tornado in Alabama. I was so glad to know that all were safe. But my heart aches for those who were affected by the loss of so much...especially for those who lost loved ones.

I just love your sprucing up for spring that you did. The bunny plate is gorgeous! And I love the ceramic bunny on the wagon.

I hope you will post pictures for us when you do the St. Patrick's Day goodies with the grands.

Meg said...

Arlene, I’m so thankful you’re ok, and shocked and heartbroken for the victims and their families and friends. When we saw the story unfold on the news, each time there was an update, the number of fatalities was higher. How awful and scary. Thank you for sharing the story of your experience. We luckily do not live in a tornado zone, but earthquakes instead. When I was 10, a 6.9 earthquake hit our area, and the facade of the building next to my mom’s newspaper office collapsed on two small children walking to school. My mom was a volunteer first responder, so she was involved in the recovery. She still doesn’t talk about it. It’s impossible to forget loss like that, and my heart and prayers go out to the wonderful people of Alabama.

Carol said...

I thought of you when I heard about the devastating tornadoes that hit Alabama, Arlene--so very heartbreaking, especially for that one family who lost 7 family members. I can't begin to imagine... We don't have tornadoes in PA, thankfully, and I don't know what it would be like to constantly worry about them. Keeping your state in my prayers ♥