Friday, April 29, 2011

Sweet Home Alabama

There are no words to explain the devastation that has engulfed my state. The number of people whose lives will be forever changed is simply astonishing. All you find yourself saying is,

Our home is battered and bruised but compared to others across the state, we are so lucky. Our family can't help but feel completely protected by our Lord Wednesday morning. Huge, gigantic trees fell directly beside our home, brushing against it, on all sides but didn't harm its structure.

My father's family has been quite devastated by the storms. His hometown was one of the hardest hit areas. Entire neighbors are completely gone. My grandmother has severe damage to her home and others lost their home entirely. One family member has been hospitalized. 

My Mother's great grandmother's house was destroyed. It was built in the late 1800's. Her grandmother was born there. Even though our family no longer owns that home, my mother was so saddened to see it gone. 
So much history-gone in seconds.

Our college town has been changed forever. The college campus was spared but all around is complete destruction. It is so overwhelming to see more and more information coming through on Facebook and learning that one more friend or former classmate has lost their home or family.

My family is not scared by bad weather. We have become quite complacent because Alabama has such severe weather so often but this day was different. My sister and I were huddled in corners with our heads covered.
It was so fast though. It was here and gone in a matter of seconds. There was no time to warn one another or anything. It was so scary.

We had two waves of storms that came through on Wednesday. Our damage was sustained during the early morning wave. We aren't sure if it was a tornado or straight-line winds. But it has been reported that the winds in our area were hurricane strength.

We are so thankful. Each night I am so thankful that my whole family is upstairs has I go to sleep in my own bed.
We are just so very thankful.

 Part of our roof missing. 
View from the front door.

 A very old and very large oak tree was pulled over and damaged our back porch.
 Our steps are now floating in mid-air.

Mom was trying to show the size of that tree! The bottom of it was taller than her!

If this tree had fallen the other just scares me to think about what could have happened.

 This tree fell directly behind our house.
It was a large pine tree.

If you look straight through the branches you can see my little white window.
Again, we were so blessed that the trees fell in the direction they did.

 Trees fell on our vehicles.

Our home from the front. It is overwhelming. I know my parents will have a lot of work ahead of them. But we are so thankful we still have a home and yard that has to be cleaned up!

 I do want to close this post on a positive note.
The sense of community is so strong. Volunteers are being turned away by the hundreds. Neighbors are helping neighbors; sharing our homes, our hands and our hearts.

We are a great state and I know that we will recover!



Erin said...

So happy you guys are not hurt!

Kelli said...

Heather it is so good to hear that you are safe. I didn't realize you lived in worried. I can't believe the way those trees fell???!!! You can almost actually see God's wall of protection around you. I will continue to pray. If there is a certain address we can send stuff too, let us know. Or email me your address and I can send a care package to you :) Love you friend.

The Atwoods said...

SO glad you and your family are OK, Heather! What a blessing.

quietspirit said...

I forgot you lived in Alabama. I am thankful you and your family didn't experience any more damage to you home.
A woman I was in high school with has a daughter whose in-laws live in your state. The report I got was they were without power and would be for a while.
I will ask for prayer for you all in Alabama.

Faith said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Faith said...

Praying for you! The tornadoes hit our area too, but my house thankfully was not damaged! After seeing my neighbor's subdivision completely destroyed, I have to say that we are soo lucky! Sending hugs and love your way!

laitae said...

Heather, I keep you in my thoughts...As you said, this is all unbelieveable, but you are so lucky that you and your close family are not hurt. Sending you lots of love sweetheart xoxo

alli/hooray said...

Glad you are all okay. I'm shocked by what has happened there and have been thinking about those affected. Nature is so powerful and it reminds me of how fragile life is - how man is not in control (even though we sometimes think we can be :). Take care!

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