I spent the first few hours of the morning glued to my computer, viewing heartbreaking images of places once familiar. The more I saw, the more ridiculous I felt. I was sitting in my completely in-tact home, with power, with food, with water...with my completely unharmed children. I needed to do something. Anything.
The small town where my husband grew up, where we met and married, where my in-laws live, sustained major damage and destruction. I saw a Facebook friend's request for food, gas and water for that town. A friend and I decided to go. Other friends donated many, many items within an hour's time, and we were on our way. We delivered the items to the collection site, then we rode over to view the damage.
Sad can't even describe what we saw. We stood atop a hill, and looked down at the place that was once a town, now more similar to a war zone. We saw parked cars with piles of belongings next to them, which we assumed were the only items the owners salvaged from their destroyed homes. We watched volunteers clear debris. We saw groups of people gathered around grills and smokers. We stood in utter amazement that people were alive.
We talked with a gentleman who told of us his story of survival:
He was in his truck as the tornado arrived. He felt the truck shake violently, and as quickly as it began, it was over. When he got out, he realized his truck had first been lifted off the ground as his son's tricycle, which was previously next to the porch, was underneath his truck tire. The front porch of his home had broken off and landed on the hood of his truck. He was convinced that if not for that porch weighing down his truck, he would've been tossed in the air. Two of his three homes were completely demolished, while his third home sustained major damage. He was hungry, but clearly thankful to be alive.
This one small town, Cordova, Alabama, is just one of many that are in the preliminary stages of recovery. If you are a local reader, I encourage you to seek out ways to help. If you read from afar, prayers are much appreciated.
Some photos from Cordova
|The Piggly Wiggly grocery store|
|The town's Methodist church|
|The local doctor's office|