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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Tornado damage, and a plea

   
Author Topic: Tornado damage, and a plea
Belle
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No one in Alabama is completely recovered emotionally from the April 27 tornados that killed hundreds of people last spring. Last night we had to face that terror again.

I woke at 3, not sure why because there were no sirens or anything. Knowing bad weather was forecast, I turned on the radio beside my bed and heard the weatherman announce that anyone in the path of the tornado should be getting to shelter - then he named the towns in the path. It was two miles away from me, and headed straight for us.

I woke my husband, and my kids and hustled them all down to the basement. Fortunately, though satellite TV was out, I could pull up the weather livestream coverage online. I watched, and watched, and listened.

We were spared. We are fine, no damage. I breathed a sigh of relief that perhaps this was an overreaction by the weather people.

Then the phone started ringing. My husband was called out to work a mass casualty incident at a neighboring town where he is a volunteer firefighter and paramedic. He left, I sent the kdis back to bed, schools were delayed for two hours.

Then the sun came up, and the extent of the damage could be known. My principal sent out a phone tree message that we would not have school today. Two hours later she sent another to tell us we would be mourning the loss of a student.

As best as I can tell, the tornado was within a mile of our house. I know people who were in its direct path - fortunately none of my family and friends were injured. Homes I drove by on almost a daily basis have been demolished. Photos coming in of places I have seen thousands of times are unrecognizable now.

Your prayers and/or good thoughts are definitely welcome. The people of Alabama have been through a lot...and none of us wanted to face this again less than a year after the deadly April tornados.

Pictures can be seen here

[ January 27, 2012, 09:21 AM: Message edited by: Belle ]

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rivka
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I'm glad you and your family are ok, Belle.

I'm so saddened to see so much destruction.

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BlackBlade
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Ditto.

So much devastation. I don't know how I'd deal with that.

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AchillesHeel
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Poor kid, dying just because and not a single better explanation. If you know the parents of the child could you tell the mother about this site Dailystrength.com inside the site is a mom's only community who have lost a child. My mother is an active member and her friends there have helped her through a lot, they even have yearly trips together, its a safe and healthy place to vent and share.
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Lyrhawn
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I'm glad you're alright Belle, and that your house was spared. It's tough to see that so many others weren't.

As a side note, how is it possible that this just happened but the lead story on CNN is about unwitting drug mules? Ridiculous.

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Liz B
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I missed this yesterday. I'm praying for your community and school.
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The Rabbit
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I'm relieved to hear you and your family are OK but saddened to hear you community is facing disaster so soon again. My thought and prayers go out to you.
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Belle
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The funeral for the student is today.

Very sad, somber mood across the school today. Her father described how he woke with only enough time to yell at his two kids, grabbed his younger son, and they were thrown into the backyard pool. His wife was injured and his daughter was found dead forty feet away.

If there is one thing that should be hammered home in all this tragedy it is this - every home should have a weather alert radio. Outdoor sirens are meant to warn those who are outdoors and away from news sources like radios or televisions. In our current era of smart phones, few people need to be called in from working in the fields by hearing a siren.

You cannot depend on a weather siren to wake you up. It's not an alarm clock. Chances are, with modern homes being so weather and sound proof and the fact that many people sleep with electronics on somewhere in the house, that you will not even hear it. Invest in a weather alert radio that will sound an alarm and wake you if there are warnings of severe weather. The NWS has a service you can sign up for that will text and/or email or call you if there is a severe weather event in your area. That is what woke me up, I decided. I charge my phone by my bed at night, and the weather app for my local station that I have installed texted me an alert.

Consider a weather radion like a smoke detector. You pray you never need it to wake you in the middle of the night, but you wouldn't sleep peacefully without knowing it's there.

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pooka
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(((Belle)))
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