We were prepared for bad weather. but did not realize just how bad it would be. I was busy working away and listening to the weather for my parents in North Alabama. They had lost power and I was fearful of bad weather sneaking up on them. As our sirens went off, I went ahead and put our pillows/blankets in the hallway. Our hallway is open to the living room and blocked off by a baby gate. I put Huddy and the boys (Boyd & Blue) behind the gate as Spencer and I continued to watch the weather coverage. I joined them and grabbed Huddy's small crib mattress, just in case.
As we watched the tornado roll in on CBS 42 coverage, I began to panic. I panic in small thunderstorms, so Spencer was trying to keep me calm and assuring me it was not near our home. As he looked closer at the live video, he realized it was really close to our neighborhood and then we heard it. He rushed under the mattress with us and we all clung to each other as the wind got stronger. I do not know how to explain what we felt and what we saw. It was unreal and nothing like I have ever seen. We could see large trees flying past our front window, next our grill went by and then the house began to shake. As I prayed a fearful prayer, Spencer held us all tight. What seemed like forever, was only a matter of seconds and when it was over, the smell of tree filled our home.
As we emerged from our hallway, we first saw that my office was full of leaves, twigs, and water. Then Spencer glanced out the front door and took off. A house across the street was under a massive tree. The next several minutes were a blur to talking to neighbors we have never met and coming together to make sure everyone on our street was safe, luckily we were. We had no clue just how bad it was, until others from streets over streamed into our area and then moved on to help others.
The rest of the night was sickening. The night air was filled with darkness and the glow of emergency lights. The sound of sirens echoed into the night and the following day as well. We were shocked to see the change of the landscape of a city we adore. I am not sure that the pictures that flood the internet and scroll across the tv do justice for what my eyes have seen. We were blessed to have only a small amount of damage and all of the lives of our little family spared. My heart breaks for all of those that have been affected in such a worse way and while I am ready to return to my home, my eyes fill with tears at the thought of what my city will look like when I return.
I am confident that not only my city, but all the areas of the South will come together and reach out to help one another. There are so many ways anyone, from anywhere can donate their resources in such small ways. I encourage anyone reading my story to find a way to help out those who really need you right now. I am not sure of all the resources, as this is my first day back with a computer, however I will provide the links that have been brought to my attention.