Now that I have power and Internet service, I’m able to catch up on the media information.
* Here a link to an excellent graphic showing the path of the tornado through Tuscaloosa, with photos illustrating damage at marked points along the way.
* This link will take you to a map of all the locations in Alabama where tornados hit.
* This link takes you to aerial photos of Tuscaloosa and Pleasant Grove very cleverly showing the damage on a before and after basis.
* Here’s a map of the tracks of the tornados on Wednesday from the National Weather Service —
* And here’s an impressive map showing the radar image as the tornado cut across the Southeast, put together by Fox Channel 6, out of Birmingham —
Story from UK Daily Mail —
Mr Melton, who miraculously escaped serious injury, said: ‘It wasn’t windy or even raining. The people in an apartment across the complex started yelling at us because they could see the tornado coming, we couldn’t. [He sought shelter in a cellar.]
‘When it hit, the house lifted up off of us and then a Jeep Cherokee came right over us and hit me in the head. We were underneath of the Jeep on our knees and chest for the end of it.
After we got hit, we pulled five or six people out, but it was gone. The house was gone.’
Imagine having a storm lift a house off you, blow a Jeep Cherokee on top of your head, and yet you live to help others dig out and then you give an interview to CNN!
I have a client who owns an apartment complex that was destroyed. Their insurance agent asked them for a rent roll, to help prove their claim. Well, the rent roll was kept at the building, and it was long, long gone.
Today, they received a call from a man in Gadsden, Alabama, over 2 hours east of here, who’d found the rent roll! It was in good enough shape that he could fax it to them so they could prove their lost income to the insurance company.
Now, most of Alabama is pretty rural. We have lots of standing timber, lots of rivers and lakes, and lots of farms. It’s the most astonishing thing to imagine a paper rent roll making it over 100 miles in a 200 MPH tornado and being found and still legible, much less found by a man honest and caring enough to make the call.
Cups from the Milo’s Hamburger fast food restaurant rained down in Oxford, Alabama — two hours east of here.
The National Guard is here to protect against looters. Men who served multiple tours in Iraq say that they’ve never seen anything as utterly destroyed as Tuscaloosa after the tornado. It’s worse than a war zone.
And yet, amazingly, no one in my congregation was seriously hurt. We have over 700 members. Several lived in the path of the tornado and lost their homes and some lost everything they own. But no one was seriously hurt. It’s just amazing.
I keep expecting to receive a phone call with bad news about one of our members, but the church staff and elders have managed to reach everyone, and we’re all good.
This tornado hit some of the richest and some of the poorest neighborhoods in town. I think the reason so many of our members survived is that people found shelter among friends from church. One couple that lost everything had found shelter at another church member’s cellar. If they hadn’t, they’d be dead, because their house was turned into toothpicks.
Community matters. Prayer matters.
We’ll have at least one other church — a black Baptist church — worshiping in our building Sunday morning and holding classes with us Wednesday night. There may be one or two more. For some reason, CNN wants to have a film crew there — as though that’s newsworthy. We were surprised that anyone thought that was news.
Having a Jeep Cherokee land on your head and not getting hurt, now that’s news!