I, like so many, await a spring that brings with it the smells and colorful delights, the gentle (and not so gentle) rains promise after a long dark winter.
rebirth after winters slumber
This been an April to remember, as far as severe weather is concerned. We've had six major severe weather events just recently, some lasting multiple days. Some still traveling across country as I write. An early start to the tornado season showing the destructive, deadly side of spring.
Yesterday, Wednesday April 27 2011 dozens of tornadoes spawned by an intense super-cell thunderstorm system wiped out entire neighborhoods. Some as small as a cluster of homes and cities, as large as Tuscaloosa,AL and across a wide swath of the South, killing over 250 and counting, and punishing at least 6 states.
First responders and firefighters are busy combing the remains of houses and neighborhoods pulverized by the nation's deadliest tornado outbreak in four decades. At least 300 people were killed across six states – more than two-thirds of them in Alabama, where large cities wear the up to a mile-wide ugly burrows the twisters left behind. The wrath left from the tempest scared by destruction, power outages, homelessness and death.
Gov. Bentley of Alabama, said forecasters did a good job alerting people, but there's only so much they can do to help people prepare. Most residents had 24 minutes warning, but the enormous size and severity of the tornadoes proved beyond escape and comprehension. That warning gave many residents enough time to hunker down, but not enough for them to safely leave the area.
I live in a rural area where we do not have an early alarm system that can be heard. Unless we are glued to the television or radio, that would be the only alert we would have for a brief signal to head for cover under ground if possible.
We have had several tornadoes, micro-bursts and lightning strikes since we moved into this home. Only one, a lightning strike that hit a tree directly behind our house and bounced onto our roof, were we alerted, seconds before it happened. Luckily the long rain storm before the lighting hit, kept our house from going up in flames. But it did wipe out every electronic item we had and more. Home owners insurance helped reimburse us for some of the major things. It left behind a huge mess and took a long time to get back to some normalcy. I had photos I was going to post to show a bit of one storm, but I decided against posting them.
It is just not comparable...
It is just not comparable...
I can not compare any of the storms we have weathered to what all of those suffering from this recent onslaught by nature. My heart aches for all of you that have lost family, friends and possessions. Things can be replaced, but the precious life of a friend, neighbor or loved one can never be substituted.
Please know that my thoughts and prayers are with each and every one of you. If I could I would open my door to all in need, or enclose you in a comforting embrace just to show, you are not alone.
There are ways we can help our fellow neighbors and friends. These are two of trusted sites I use for monetary help. I hope we can all rebuild together.
The American Red Cross has opened dozens of emergency shelters for families affected by the severe storms. You can donate online (credit card) or by calling 1-800-RED-CROSS. To quickly contribute $10, you can text "REDCROSS" to 90999. The Red Cross website allows you to choose where you want your donation to go.
The Salvation Army has deployed mobile feeding units to tornado-affected communities to provide meals to people in need. You can designate your online donation by going to "April 2011 Tornado Outbreak" relief. Funds can also be given over the phone by calling 1-800-SAL-ARMY or texting "GIVE" to 80888 (for a $10 donation).
Until next time,
Blessings and comfort.
Thinking of a future close-by, where we all can start healing,
rebuilding and believe in our neighbors out stretched hand.