Apr. 29th, 2011

mackknopf: (Buffy Sword)
As for Alabama, you know it's bad when the President of the United States is visiting the town of your law school alma mater to survey the devastation... Tuscaloosa is only an hour away from Birmingham, and it got really trashed.  I've had friends with missing relatives in nearby Pleasant Grove.  Amber recently found her nephew and his family alive and unhurt, fortunately, but the house was gone (which is what she saw first).  In Tuscaloosa, the tornado missed my aunt's house, but one friend had her apartment complex partially wiped out as if by a bomb. (Luckily, she was inside the UA school and also has renter's insurance!).   It's been scary in these parts... I live on Southside Birmingham, though, so all we got was heavy rain.

Neither my place or my parents' even lost power, but the outlying metro Birmingham area and poorer nearby towns were hit hard.   About two hundred people have died in Alabama, and pictures resemble destruction from someplace like Afghanistan or Iraq.  As for my family, we watched the TV nervously and eyed the "storm shelter" (hallway closet) as the bad weather quickly passed from our area.  My cat, Beowulf, kept trying to get outside (he has no sense), but we made sure he stayed in until the storm passed in about forty-five minutes. 

Historically, tornadoes miss my neighborhood because we're in a hilly area, and they tend to break up.  So I wasn't too worried, but I kept a watchful ear for the television broadcast while this was happening.  Apparently these were tornadoes of epic, historic, even mythic proportions.  My friend Melissa said the one hovering over Tuscaloosa didn't even look real, but animated, it was so perfect.  The strangest news footage came from someone in a car with a mounted camera who was apparently chasing a tornado on the I-65 highway to provide pictures.  That seems to be the definition of "suicidal" to me.

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