Friday, April 29, 2011

Tuscaloosa Tornado

I have scarcely been able to tear myself away from the computer since the powerful tornado struck my beloved hometown of Tuscaloosa, Alabama. My family was in the direct path of the tornado.

This is an aerial view of their neighborhood that I found on the Internet. My dad's house is on the lower left. After my mother died last year, he moved into the in-law apartment on the back of the house. My brother and his family moved into the main house. The apartment is completely gone, so my dad lost his home. The main house is also totaled and not structurally sound. He said the windows exploded and the doors were blown off.

My sister's house is on the lower right corner. While the house looks fairly sound, it isn't. She said that they could feel the tornado lift the house completely off the foundation. She said the walls are cracked and the house is not livable.

Their cars and their homes were totaled.


This is a picture my sister-in-law took of the back yard. My dad's beloved little dog is missing and he has been searching through the rubble trying to find her.



Here is another picture of my sister's house in the lower left. Her carport has significant damage. Notice that both neighbors on either side of her has their entire roof missing.

After the storm they immediately began helping their neighbors who were trapped in the rubble. My brother-in-law's aunt and uncle live right across the street from him, their home was completely destroyed and they were trapped in their bathroom. Another neighbor was trapped under a brick wall. They have quite a few stories to tell about their experience, especially since it was hours before emergency personnel was able to get to them. Their home was basically a triage center for those needing assistance. So many people were in shock and had injuries.



This is what it looks like just a few houses down at the end of the block.

Another view of the end of the block.

I am so thankful that my loved ones are all safe and without injury. Others were not as fortunate; there were several fatalities in their neighborhood and all across the city. So many people are homeless. I am thankful that my family has other family members to stay with. While we are counting our blessings, we grieve and are heart broken for the loss of life and the utter devastation of our beloved hometown.

25 comments:

africanaussie said...

so sorry, It is awful to see the destruction. take care.

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

I am so sad to hear and see all this destruction.It is even worse when it hits those you love.May you and your family feel God's peace even during this difficult time.You are in my prayers.

Sheila said...

I am so sorry for your family's loss! How devastating. Unbelievable.

Patricia said...

Oh, my!!!! I am so, so sorry, Robin. Praise God they are okay. What a horrible day for so many people. I will keep your family in prayer. (((Hugs)))

Darla said...

Oh Robin..there are no words. My heartfelt warmth to you and yours.

Kay said...

Robin, so glad to hear your family is all right. I hope they can get on their feet again. Prayers for all

Cameron said...

I am so sorry to read/see the destruction to the homes of your loved ones. Thank goodness they were not injured. I'm sure it is heartbreaking to lose so much. I hope your dad's little dog is safe. There are several stories here in North Carolina of dogs, even horses, being found a week after the tornadoes hit here on April 16th.

Hugs.

Jan@Thanks for today. said...

Oh Robin, my heart is breaking as I read your post! You have had so many family members have so many unfortunate things come their way...Life is just not fair. Of course you know this, and you probably draw strength from that very fact. But I am so sorry for your family's losses. I know they are safe, and that is a blessing. I hope your dad's little dog will be found, and found still alive. After losing your mom, I am sure losing his dog is a difficult blow right now. Somehow, they will all get through this, but I am sorry for the pain they are all going through!

Lona said...

I think it was the biggest tornado I have ever seen from the pictures of it on newscasts. Whole blocks just wiped out. You see the pictures but you still cannot fully comprehend so much destruction. My heart goes out to them all so much. So much lose and heartache. I am sorry to hear about your fathers home but thank God they all are safe.Our prayers and aide are with them all.

A Garden of Threads said...

Oh Robin, I am sorry for the homes your family has lost. They are safe and that is all that matters. My thoughts are with you and your family.

Msrobin said...

Despite all the losses, I'm glad to hear that your family is safe at least. What a horrible tragedy! The tornado victims are in my prayers.

ann said...

I am so sorry for your family's loss and thankful that they survived. Three years ago a tornado tore threw a town about 10 miles west of our home. You just cannot imagine the destruction until you see it first hand. Our tornado was probably an EF-3, and it was a mile wide. We will keep your families and all those in our prayers. My husband wanted to know what we could do to help, and the best I can come up with is to donate to the Red Cross. Let us know how we can help.

PatioPatch said...

Dear Robin, your tellingly personal account of the Tuscaloosa devastation brings it into close-up, with far greater impact than a news item. Thankful that your family are safe but whilst others have tragically lost their lives, this sudden loss of home is still heartbreaking. Your Dad must be bewildered, especially coming so close after the death of your Mum. So sorry to hear this.
Laura

motherofpearls said...

I'm so sorry, what a chilling personal account. The images are just shocking. I'm so glad to hear they are safe.

Rosemary said...

How sad to see all the destruction, best news is your family is safe. Things can easily be replaced.....

Rose said...

My heart goes out to you and your family, Robin. I'm so glad they are safe, but I know that others were not so lucky. Your photos are powerful images of all the destruction this tornado caused. I do hope your father's little dog is found safe and sound soon.

Anna/Flowergardengirl said...

Robin so very very sorry for the losses your family endured. My heart goes out to you all.

Debbie said...

Robin, what a terrible tragedy this was. I am so thankful that your family survived it all and I will be praying for them. How difficult it must have been for you to watch as it all unfolded.

macysgarden said...

Robin, so thankful that your family is safe. My prayers go out to you and your family. Prayers that your dads dog is found safe and sound. My prayers to everyone there!

The Sage Butterfly said...

I am so sorry...all of you are in our thoughts and prayers. And I hope things move swiftly in your favor. Take care!

GardenofDaisies said...

These pictures of the tornados destruction are just heartbreaking! I feel such sadness for everyone that lost loved ones, pets, homes, businesses, belongings, and sense of security. I live right smack dab in tornado alley, but am lucky never to have been in the direct path of a tornado.

SWEET HOME AND GARDEN CHICAGO. said...

What a tragedy, Robin. I've been through many tornadoes in Alabama but have never seen anything this awful. I'm glad your family is okay. I grieve for the loss of life and homes . I visited Tuscaloosa many times in my youth as I had relatives living there and I have many fond memories of it.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Oh Robin, I am so sorry to hear this. How awful. I can truly empathihze with you because 6 years ago my Dad lost his home and possessions in a tornado. He was lucky to survive as his neighbors weren't so lucky. You can be sure I will keep all your family in my thoughts and prayers.

Gail said...

Oh Robin, I am so glad your family survived....It's unimaginable. Has your dad found his small friend? gail

Hilary said...

This is heart-wrenching. I'm so sorry for what your family is going through. I'll keep you and yours in my best thoughts.