5.05.2011

Photostory Friday: The Day the Lights Went Out

On Wedensday, April 27th, a long line of storms blew through the South bringing with them 312 tornadoes. Totally leaving the Super storms of 1974 in the dust, 148 hit at that time. About 71 of those 312 tornadoes that hit on Wednesday hit the State of Alabama alone. To see more stats you can go here. It was a day that will never be forgotten.

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I woke up with morning sickness as usual to the skies pictured above and stayed in my jammies for about half the day, and in our closet under the stairs. Luckily I was able to get a nice warm shower in before the electricity went out.

My two boys went to school even though a tornado siren went off shortly after their bus loaded up. The schools were determined to not have to make up another day and one of my kids can't miss any more days since he has been out a lot with his asthma, so I felt I had to send him. They ended up releasing the kids in between storms that were coming through. The worst hit shortly after they got home.



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This is the first line of serious storms to blow through over us. I was two houses down talking to my neighbor when I snapped this pic, then went straight home. As soon as I got to the door I turned and saw this wall cloud below.



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The debris was already falling around us and I grabbed the girls and we made a mad dash to the closet under the stairs. It was surreal how fast it blew in and how much stuff was blowing around in it.

After this blew through we had a slight breather until the next several rounds blasted their way through our area.



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This is the calm before the next storm. Its amazing how bright it got and that the clouds were still rotating a little and forming together very low to the earth.

Just before the next round blew in I looked out the window and there was a shingle that blew in over our house, then another and another. It wasn't ours. We think it may have been from a city over since it stayed pretty bright and calm outside for a little while longer and they fell from high up in the sky.

Then the darkness returned. This is a wall cloud we saw over Harvest area where an EF4 hit leveling some neighborhoods and the next two are the pics of two different funnels forming, one in between our home and the other homes you see pictured and one a little further out of our neighborhood. I snapped these just before I had to tell the kids to hit the deck as soon as the wind picked up around us.



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In our little city, Madison, our side of it was hit the hardest, but even we were truly blessed and came out with scratches compared to the surrounding cities and counties. Here are some pics of the damage we witnessed as we ventured out to check on loved ones since many were without any phone lines including cell phones. We were fortunate and had cell coverage for the most part.



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We saw many trampolines blown all over. Some were even so mangled the further we went into Harvest, that you couldn't recognize what it was if it didn't have the blue padding with it. This one was tangled, in the back, around a pine tree.



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It was amazing to see these massive trees all over too.



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This was right outside of our neighborhood. There were several powerlines snapped in two. We even saw some power line cords wrapped in fences.



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Here is a friend of ours home that sustained damage when the funne went over their home. It turned into a tornado when it touched down just down the streeet leaving a house there with shattered windows and trees strewn all over the place.


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The morning after the storms we woke up to the kids already dressed and begging to go through out the neighborhood to help clean up. It didn't take long before tons of kids were all out doing the same thing.



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We were without power for five days, which was shorter than I thought it would be, but apparently they are rerouting our power from another source such as the dam not too far away. It will be a little while longer before TVA is up and fully running. Apparently they were hit pretty hard as well, shutting down a nuclear plant.

I decided the kids and I would do a little vacation visit to see my dad and sister. It was an eight hour drive, but worth it to have hot water and power since I came down pretty sick, but I ended up driving home sick since we had school starting up and the kids needed to be there. It all worked out and my dear hubby had pity on me and unpacked the car and took lead of the kids while I rested.



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I have been in several tornadoes in my life since I grew up in Texas. I even had three funnels that went over our mobile home. We were truly blessed that all we experienced with them was hail the size of softballs damaging all our cars, power outage, house shaking  and the sound of a freight train rushing over us. They touched down a mile down the road devastating a few neighborhoods. Today I also feel very blessed and humbled that we are alive and well. It puts life in perspective a bit more than before and I hope that my heart can always be turned to others the way it is now. 



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8 comments:

Life with Kaishon said...

Oh my goodness Sharon! I can not believe the devastation your town saw. Incredible. I have been praying for all of those affected. Very sad.

Lolli said...

That is incredible! I remember driving around a neighborhood in Richmond, VA after Isabel hit many years ago. The destruction was incredible - two huge trees through the roof of one of the houses we owned. Power lines all over the streets. But it was nothing like the devistation of these recent storms. I'm glad you made it ok!!

SkyBlueSeed said...

wow, so great to hear that you are all safe! Cannot believe how destructive the storms are, very scary. Never seen such dark clouds like that....

Stacey said...

Holy smokes, Sharon! Those pictures make it all so much more real. Great shots. I cannot believe all that you guys had to go through. I'm so glad you're OK now.

Kristy said...

I glad your family was safe. Mu husband and I poured over the footage online.

Quincy Sorensen said...

These are incredible shots. I am going to direct some of my family members to your blog to check them out!

Sara said...

The pics look even more scary here than they did on your camera. So glad that day is over!

Amy said...

Crazy pictures!!!!! Those clouds are so black and scary. Wow, nice recap of the whole event. I'm so glad you all were safe.

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