Fabgrandpa and I spent the winter in Alabama, just 35 miles south of Tuscaloosa. Today, while I am so glad we left there two weeks ago, my heart goes out to the people who are still there. Yesterday, a tornado not only touched down, it wiped out a major portion of the town.
This was an F5 tornado, about a mile wide. The area where it hit, around 13th Street and McFarland Blvd, is one of the busiest areas of Tuscaloosa at any time of day. We shopped at that Big Lots. Bought donuts at that Krispy Kreme! We have eaten at Full Moon Barbecue. Both of those businesses are gone. Just a pile of rubble. But the worst part of it is not the homes and businesses lost. It is the people who were killed. It is just so sad that they could be gone just like that! More than 600 people were admitted to the hospital in Tuscaloosa, and at least 50 were killed across the state of Alabama.
Until I started living in an RV full time, I lived in the south all my life. I used to keep a “storm kit” in the closet under the stairs in the den. It had a flashlight, some extra batteries, a change of shoes, some cash, candles, snacks, bottles of water, a tarp, and other things that I thought we might need if the house was hit by a tornado. Weather still frightens me. If the wind is blowing hard, I have a hard time sleeping. Although I have never seen a tornado in real life, I have no desire to. I don’t ever want to be close enough to one to see it.
I also want to mention that there was a tornado that touched down near Andrews AFB, where my son and his family live. My daughter in law said it was less than one mile from their house. The city of Ringgold, Georgia was hit hard, too.
Let’s all of us be thankful today that we are still alive, and remember in our prayers all those who have suffered such great loss from these storms.