The tornado sirens went off yesterday morning at 5:30; I shot up and turned the TV on, trying to figure out if I needed to wake Jack and climb into the bathtub.
The sirens didn’t last long because there really wasn’t much going on in our county, but they were showing tornadoes right over Reid’s path to work. He had just left for work at 5 and it takes him 45 minutes, so I knew he wasn’t at work yet. Can we say panic attack?
I eventually got in touch with him. He said that it was like he had hit a wall, with the rain/wind. Everyone just stopped their cars on the interstate. The wind around that time was around 70 mph. Reid was listening to the radio and they mentioned a tornado at an exit that he has JUST passed. Reid said the wind shifted, so it was as if the tornado went around them.
The Mercedes Plant, where he works, had a lot of damage. I’m just so glad Reid was ok; it’s such a bizarre experience.
Later in the day, Jack and I went to Tuscaloosa to see Cammie and the kids. I went back and forth about going, knowing I might get stuck there because of the storms, but we went anyway. It took about an hour for me to get to the interstate because of the trees that were down from the earlier winds.
We met up at the new DQ (Dairy Queen) for ice cream.
We went to the Davis house and hung out for a bit til it was time to go across the street to Reid’s aunt and uncle’s house to get in the basement.
We listened to the radio. I moved to the stairs when the weather sounded bad and they started talking about a mile wide tornado in the area. You know it’s bad when James Spann, a local weatherman, pauses and fumbles over his words when he see the tornado.
Eventually, we made our way back across the street and were quickly grabbing our phones/computers/ipad to see what had happened since our cable was out. I had a hard time calling out with my phone to let everyone know we were ok. My poor mom, knowing I’m in Tuscaloosa and seeing the news, was flipping out. We were close to the storm, but not THAT close.
It’s been unreal and has left us speechless at times seeing all the damage that’s been done and realizing how many people have lost everything. Also, realizing how many have lost their lives in this disaster. It’s eerie to hear on the radio/tv that neighborhoods are still blocked because they’re pulling bodies out of the rubble just a few towns north of here and in Tuscaloosa.
That people expect to see damaged building, but they’re seeing foundations because the buildings are gone.
Jack and I left Tuscaloosa last night to head home. Even though we’re all fine, I just felt strange being away from Reid when he was only an hour away with all of this going on. Jack was asleep in the car before we even got out of the neighborhood, which is great because I was stuck in traffic trying to get on the interstate. It took me two hours to get home, when it usually takes one. The first hour was spent with my car off, sitting in traffic.
I can’t post pictures of the storms because of technical issues, but I’m sure you’ve seen some if you’ve turned on the tv this morning. I just saw an album on Facebook that has very telling photos of the damage, and that’s just in parts of Tuscaloosa; the storm hit across Alabama and some into Georgia.