Thursday, April 28, 2011

Tornado Fury

My Sweet Friends,

Thank you to those who have sent emails/messages regarding our family in Alabama and in particular Tuscaloosa (where my son, "Bama" goes to college and my brother in law -aka "The Artist" and sister in law live with their 2 boys)I am counting my blessings today. Everyone of my family is accounted for. This was Bama's second brush of a close call with a tornado.

Two weeks ago, the tornado hit his area, imagine a u shape-it being where the tornado hit, Bama's apartment sat inside the u, protected. No damage. He hid in a closet with his neighbors below (his apartment is on 2nd floor). Yesterday was even closer. He is a block and half from University Mall, this is the location of where many of you are seeing the images on television. There is a building next to his complex in which all windows were blown out, beyond that ...well...its what you are seeing on TV, complete devastation and destruction. At Bama's complex-there is debris from the EF5 tornado, but  as far as the tornado itself doing damage to his apartment....nothing. Not even windows were blown out, and yet a block away, nothing stands. NOTHING.  After the EF5 yet another tornado came through and literally went above his apartment, not ever touching down. He has spoken with most of his friends, all safe.

The video below was shot in the parking lot of the mall, behind the person shooting is a park, then Bama's apartment.

The others seen on the link below, many were what I saw live on the news. It was sickening.

God was truly with my son, "Bama" as well as many others. I am certain the presence of God was beside Bama and other students as they huddled together in the closet of a first floor neighbor.

Our local news stations were phenomenal in getting the message across early in the day! The forecast was for a severe outbreak, a forecast that is not commonly seen in Alabama. That was followed by all day and all night coverage of the tornado's and their aftermath. I cannot say enough for our local meteorologist and TV stations, who if not for them, the death toll would be even higher.

I am praising God and His divine grace today. I know others were not as fortunate my heart aches for them my friend Kim's family, who lost their family home...their story is like so many, and even others who have lost so much more....lives. There are simply no words.....My heart aches for you.

My thoughts and prayers go out to the families who have lost loved ones and property due to the devastation of this tremendous disaster. I plan to volunteer to help next week and do what I can, however small it might be. I can't just sit idle in this chaos.  I volunteered during Hurricanes Ivan and Hurricane Katrina, the images I am seeing are so similar, if not more. I am not trying to belittle anyone else's personal experience with disaster. Know that. I am just going by images (which I have been told do it no justice) and by my son's first hand account. It is as if so many of the areas simply "exploded". I am so very, very sad...but yet I celebrate for what was spared. Such bittersweet emotions.....But above all God is GREAT and I trust and put my faith in Him.

Thank you again for your prayers and concern. Your friendship is truly a gift!
Another reason why blogging is wonderful.....YOU! Really. YOU.
(Truly) Live*Laugh*Love


Swampgirl said...

Relieved to hear your boy is safe! There is a big volunteer effort starting up here called "Toomers for Tide" Kind of the reverse of the Tide fsns who came to the aide of our trees! We are "all in" and as my friends are all saying "Roll Eagle and War Tide!"

Jane said...

Hi Leigh,
I am so happy to read that your son is OK. That must have been a terrifying experience! The devastation is just horrific. My thoughts and prayers go out to everyone affected by these terrible storms.

Glenda/MidSouth said...

So glad you and your family stayed safe. My thoughts and prayers go out to all of those that have lost family, friends, and/or their homes.
I just cannot imagine. :(

Mari said...

I'm so glad that all of you are ok. The videos were really scary.
We are praying for those who have suffered loss of any kind in this.


Thank God your family is fine, it must've been so hard for you looking at this devastation and knowing your family is there! I'm watching right now at FOX My he and it's awful!, there are 200 dead in Alabama. My heart goes out to you, your family and all the people who's suffered so much! All I can do is have them in my prayers, the same for your family.
God bless.

Sandi @the WhistleStop Cafe said...

I am planning to bring a pile of things to your doorstep this weekend. Even the smallest things can make a difference.
YOU are a friday's favorite for sure :-)

Shelia said...

Hi Leigh and I'm so glad you and your family are okay! I watched that video of the tornadoes. That is the scariest thing! I've talked with my aunts - one lives in Piscah and the other Rainsville and it's just awful. We've lost some cousins in this and some friends. My heart and prayers are with the folks. So much devastation and I know there will be so much to recover from. This has brought back memories of when we were hit by Hurricane Ike 3 years ago.
Take care and God bless you for wanting to help others in need, Leigh.
Shelia ;)

Jane said...

Thanks be to God that Bama and your family are safe. We are praying for all those affected...and crying for their losses. Thank you for sharing firsthand information...via FB. I am touched to see the outpouring of help and support from all the people of Alabama...and beyond.

Pat @ My Tattered Elegance said...

Thanks to God that your son is okay. I know what you are going through, I went through the tornado in Vernon in 79. My parents home and my grandmothers home was both gone. They all made it to the cellar, but I couldn't find my daughter for a while and I was frantic. I will keep your and your neighbors in my prayers. Alabama will need lots of prayers in the weeks and months to come. This is a horrible thing to have to go through. I am soooo sorry for all of you and the other states that have been hit.
I will keep you in prayer.
Hugs, Pat

Beth @ UnskinnyBoppy said...

I'm SO glad that he is safe, Leigh. God is good.

Blondie's Journal said...

I am so relieved you and your family are okay. Bama had a close call. My thoughts and prayers go out to all of you. You are a wonderful person for volunteering your time and help. Be safe.


Luncheons at the Junction said...

I dropped to my knees after seeing the devastation on TV to pray for those caught in this storm. I can only imagine how afraid you were having family in it's path. So happy to hear that all are safe.

MeMeSue said...

You must have been out of your mind with worry! I would have been....Thank God there were not more lives lost. Keeping everyone in my prayers!

Lisa@Pickles and Cheese said...

So relieved to hear that you and your family and your son are all okay. The devastation is unbelievable and heartbreaking. I think it wonderful that you are able to volunteer to help. We will be sending some money to the Red Cross hoping that will help. God Bless.

Jan said...

From another Bama gal, my #1 son lives in Tuscaloosa too. Thankfully he and all of his friends are safe. My prayers go out to those who have lost so much. We will be volunteering for many months!

Susan said...

I'm so glad y'all are all right. I was out of town and have just returned and am trying to get my thoughts in order of someone watching the coverage from far away.

jennifer said...

Good grief Leigh, that video is truly shocking. I worked in that mall when Bryan and I lived in Tuscaloosa, first at Parisian and then at Amsouth bank. Just crazy seeing it with a monster going over the top.

I am so thankful that your family is fine. Glory to God!

Kathy said...

Thank goodness he is safe! I checked on your FB page (and of the others I knew from Tuscaloosa). We were down there Mon, Tues, and Fri of last week. It is just beyond belief...seeing all those places that you've spent so much time at...I can't even put it into words.