Thursday, April 28, 2011

the aftermath.

Sorry my friends, so many things I could write about. But today I can't bring myself to blog about anything but my aching heart. Y'all know I love Alabama. My home. Alabama The Beautiful. Sweet Home Alabama. They say the stars fell on Alabama. Where the skies are so blue. The namesake of my blog. There is nothing more heart breaking that to see the state you love so much torn to pieces at the mercy of mother nature.

If you watch the national news or television in general, I am sure by now you have seen or at least heard of the the devastating tornadoes that crossed the state of Alabama yesterday, April 26, 2011.

We have had some severe weather the past 2-3 weeks here in central Alabama but nothing can triumph yesterday's storms... a day that will surely go down in history. I have a feeling everyone will remember the April 26, 2011 storms and refer to them for many years just as well all of us remember and refer to the tragic storms of April 8, 1998. 

I live about 30 minutes North of Tuscaloosa. Right between T-town and B'ham. I grew up here, going to Tuscaloosa all the time. I am not talking about going to Tuscaloosa for a football game every now and then {we went and still go to every home game pretty much my whole life} I am talking about ... we regularly go there. 

I went to school there for a while.
Lived there.
Walked the streets.
Breathed the air.
Shopped local businesses.

The storms originated South of Tuscaloosa and gradually made it's way through downtown and to the U of A campus. After it's rampant journey through Tuscaloosa it tore through Birmingham as well. We thought they were headed right to my community, but they went northeast and we suffered minimal damage.

Photo Courtesy of Fox 6

To those of you who may not understand Alabama football or Alabama fans. Tuscaloosa is sacred. A beautiful, historical town dripping with southern charm and full of pride. My dad says there is something in the air down that he can't get enough of.

Before I go further,  please be prepared to pray for Tuscaloosa and the rest of the severely damaged state of Alabama.

From what I have heard and seen, 15th street which is parallel to campus and many student apartment complexes, is completely destroyed. 15th is the location of lots of restaurants students and citizens frequent, I ate at a restaurant on 15th just a couple weeks ago. The corner of 15th and McFarland Boulevard is unrecognizable. The University Mall which is on McFarland suffered damage and supposedly you can stand in the mall parking lot and see Coleman Coliseum. This is a big deal. There were hundreds of houses and businesses obstructing this view before hand. 

 Photo Courtesy of Fox 6

This tornado was strong. Definitely F4 and potentially F5. Winds over 200mph. Diameter 1/2 mile wide.  They are saying Tuscaloosa has not seen a tornado like this one since the 1970's. 

images found via google images

The 2nd picture was taken from a twitvid that went VIRAL last night. You can see the bowl of Bryant Denny Stadium with the tornado lurching in the background. There are so many videos I have seen and posted on my facebook but cannot access them from work.

Dozens of people and students are still missing and unaccounted for including a sorority sister of mine. Another sorority sister was injured during the storm and is in critical condition. Our sorority house staff, Ms.Peggy has damage to her home. Peggy's son, Kel who also worked in our kitchen is missing as well as our house keeper Ms.Essie. My heart is breaking with every word I type. My mom's boyfriend has an elderly mother living in a devastated area and he cannot get in touch with her. 

My dad called to check on his house last night and told me Crystal found a "work order" from a business on 15th street in Tuscaloosa dated yesterday in her yard in Trussville which is an hour and a half from Tuscaloosa.

Since the storm I have gotten constant calls. texts, messages on facebook and twitter from my pledge sisters who are now scattered all across the country and can't fathom the wreck of what use to be Tuscaloosa. So many communities have suffered, not just mine. Pray for Tuscaloosa, Hueytown, Pleasant Grove, Concord, Fultondale, Huntsville and Cullman just to name a few of the Alabama cities currently in a state of disaster. 

Death tolls are rising every minute. 

Amidst all the disaster. There is Bryant Denny, Denny Chimes, Sorority Row, Campus in general... all unscathed. While less than 1/2 mile away, nothing still stands. 

Roll Tide. Those two words are going to be the glue keeping the U of A/Ttown family together. Those two words don't just represent a slogan or chant but a bond the students share, a way of life for the residents and a common ground for the fans.

Yesterday was a long day. I was so tired but last night I couldn't sleep, Tuscaloosa was too heavy on my heart. Pray for my sweet state, the road to recovery is a long one. 

ps. I feel like this post was so scatter brained, sorry.


Tiffany @ Life as a Southern girl said...

This is devastating. I will keep the state of Alabama in my prayers.

Mr. and Mrs. Smith said...

Glad that you are okay. It is horrible to see and hear this and I have been praying since yesterday! xoxo

Casey said...

Tons of prayers go out to all the families affected by this...such a devastating thing to have to go through. I know exactly how you feel, back in 2007 a tornado went through our town and neighboring communities too, taking our high school along with it. Everyone came together to help pick up and rebuild, really pulled the community and school if there's some good that comes out of a catastrophe like this, it's that! Thoughts and prayers are with you and your state!

Portuguese Prepster said...

I am so so sorry to hear all of this. I will most certainly be keeping Alabama in my prayers and all of your loved ones.

Savanah said...

I'll be praying...

Amber said...

:[ Praying for my sweet Tuscaloosa (and other towns). Roll Tide.

Michelle said...

Sending tons of prayers and hugs your way. Middle Georgia (where my hometown is) was hit too and tornadoes ripped through my town and the surrounding counties with deaths resulting. I hope that your friends and others that you know are found and recover quickly. Roll tide.

TanaLicious said...

It's all so incredibly sad. The people of AL are in my thoughts.

tickled. said...

Sending lots & lots of prayers to Bama today ... What a tragedy. :(
xo:: Lauren @ tickled.

Raven said...

I live all the way over on the west coast, and I have never experienced anything near this kind of weather/devastation. I do however love that you are a huge Alabama fan. Prayers are still being said!

Muffin Top to Smokin Hot said...

That is extremely devastating!

Michelle said...

I'm so sorry! It is so devastating! I am sending prayers and positive thoughts to Alabama!

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