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.