Sunday, May 8, 2011

A Miracle Among Many Miracles

The tornado hit Tuscaloosa on Wednesday, April 27; my husband, son and I arrived in town the following Sunday. In the hardest hit areas the roads were still closed to non-residents. The police and national guard were at checkpoints and you had to show your drivers license to enter those areas. I had access to the Holt area because my sister was with me.

My first cousin lived in the Alberta area, which was also devastated by the tornado. I was very concerned about them and could not reach them for several days. I was finally able to get in touch with their son, who told me that they were fine, but their home was gone. I wanted to see them before I left and on Wednesday, one week after the tornado, we were barely able to make our way through the back streets to get to their neighborhood.

We had trouble finding their house due to the mass destruction. All of our usual landmarks were destroyed and street signs were down.

We finally made our way there and this is what we saw:

There is no house at all! It is completely gone! The sand is where the front porch was.

Thankfully they had a basement and the four of them, along with some neighbors, were in it. Unfortunately, with the magnitude of this storm, the basement almost proved to be insufficient shelter.

They hid in the closet, but the tornado ripped the walls apart, the door blew in on their niece and the cinder blocks came crashing in on them. They are all fine but a few of them are bruised from the blocks. It truly is a miracle that they survived unharmed! Can you imagine what they must have experienced as that tornado passed over them?

This is the view from the back of the house. My cousin's husband and my sister are standing where the porch was.

This is the view from the porch area looking down to the basement.

Debris and the stairs in the basement.

Their neighborhood.

You can see the path of the tornado as it headed in to the Holt community.

Another view of their neighbor's homes.

This is an apartment complex, just down the road at the end of the block. It is sad that many people lost their lives in this storm but it could have been so much worse. The mayor of Tuscaloosa said, "I don't know how anyone survived". There are so many miracle stories. I am thankful that my cousin and her family survived and that they  have one of those stories to share! They are doing well and have a nice place to live until their home is rebuilt.


Ruth's Photo Blog said...

Great praise story.The damage is unbelievable yet so real to so many people.

Nale said...

Very shocking scenes.
I'm sorry.
I wish you to renew your home as soon is possible.

Kay said...

I am amazed and saddened at the destruction. But the resilience of your family and friends is inspiring.

Elephant's Eye said...

Such devastation! Glad your family is safe. Can anything be retrieved from the wreckage?

Cloudia said...

wishing you all the best!

Aloha from Waikiki

Comfort Spiral



nita said...

Wow what a story, what heartbreaking devastation. But Praise God for the miracle for your family _Nita

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing to remind us how lucky we really are to have escaped this damage. It is very fortunate that your family is safe.What an amazing and heartbreaking record of events.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Nothing like a tornado to make you count your blessings. Unbelieveable.

jodi (bloomingwriter) said...

After all the devastating fires, earthquakes, tsunamis and now tornadoes ravaging people near and far...I've reminded myself that I ought not to complain about the weather in Nova Scotia.
It's one thing to read about this in the paper, or to see it on the news. It's quite another to see this sort of devastation touching people we 'know', even if it's via the Internet. I'm grateful your family was unscathed, and hope the government will help the good people who have suffered in these terrible storms.