A view from my side.
A year ago today, I sat at home while our state was torn apart by tornadoes. Literally from border to border, a tornado tore through our state. Several others hit a variety of places. In addition to the twisters, straight line winds tore through parts of towns all over the state. From storms in the pre-dawn hours to those late afternoon tornadoes, the entire day found many people glued to their local weather forecasters as they hunkered down for storms.
Early morning found me on campus, looking into the damage we had, slight as it was. One of the things that brought home the force of the winds was one of our soccer goals. It had been flipped over. This is a heavy, metal, full sized soccer goal. A match goal, not a training goal. It had been flipped end over end by the wind. It was at the end of a direct line of twisted and downed trees from one end of campus to another. We shut down that day due to a loss of power. I was home by 9:00 a.m.
Soon the news of the devastation started pouring in. Cities and towns all around us had experienced severe straight line wind or tornado damage. And, the weather forecasters told us, there were more on the way. We kept one eye on the sky and another on our television, never straying too far from home. As the tornado tore through Tuscaloosa, we watched in amazement on the traffic cam feeds the local news station was broadcasting. That storm was headed our way and there were more to the south of us as well.
As they reached us, the winds picked up, the rains fell and Kid#3 got really worried. We have been through tornadoes before and were not looking forward to having to deal with it again. Watching the storm tracks on the news though, we could see that the two storms bearing down on us would go around us, one about 8 miles north and the other about 4 miles south. Still, it was a tense afternoon. Ex#3 and Kid#4 were safe in a storm cellar across town, so I wasn’t too worried about her. Kids#1 and #2 were safely out of state.
When it was all said and done, 62 verified tornadoes had torn through our state. More than 250 people had lost their lives. The devastation was spread from east to west. It was a truly horrible day. It was a year ago today.