Whew! What a week! And not in a good way either!
Tuesday night at 7PM, they started catching our chickens. That meant that we would be up all night and nowhere near a tv to watch the weather. Wednesday morning about 6:30AM, we left the chicken houses and went over to Lance's Uncle Jim (we farm with him) and Aunt Nell's house to eat breakfast. They live across the road from us. While we were eating breakfast, we were listening to the weather in the other room. We live in one of those stupid areas where we are in the Birmingham tv market, but can only pick up Huntsville stations on antenna. They did mention that Blount County (our county) was under a tornado warning, but didn't cover it.
As we were eating breakfast, the power went off. Lance decided he had better go back up to the chicken houses to warn the chicken catchers. Right after he left, it hit. We believe it was probably straight line winds, but aren't for sure. We saw trees blow down and all kinds of stuff flying by the windows. When Lance got up to the chicken houses, the rain was being sucked off the roofs, it was never touching the ground. He ran in house #3 and the catchers and him walked to the front door just in time to see tin flying by. The tin ended up being from the freezer shed out front. The before picture can be found here.
Here is the after. Since we were in the middle of catching chickens and had live chickens sitting in trailers waiting to be picked up, Lance had to go out into the storm to try to find a path for the trucks to come in to pick the chickens up because there were trees blocking roads everywhere. After the storm was over, we went out to survey the damaged and see where we could help.
There were huge trees down everywhere.
This is our next door neighbor's barn.
This tree fell across our road and hit some power lines.
This huge tree went through the roof of Jim and Nell's church.
This is a neighbor's shed.
This used to be a dairy barn, turned restaurant, turned line dance place, now turned into a pile of rubble.
A guy we go to church with had tons of damage on many of his barns and sheds.
This used to be a shed at a small used car lot in Snead.
This is what we saw outside the window.
Here is a picture one of our neighbors took from farther away.
This is a picture from our church looking across Snead toward our house.
Of course it hasn't been "officially labeled" as a tornado, but those pictures don't lie!
When Snead finally got power on Thursday, (we got power Friday night), I had to wait 30 minutes in line to get gas. I think they had the only open station for miles.
This afternoon, our church started taking donations.
We are going to deliver it to damaged areas around our county. Since those places aren't big cities, they really aren't getting much media attention or donations.
Here is a map of the tornado tracks across the South. Sorry so small, click to enlarge! If you look just north of Birmingham, you can see the town of Cullman, to the southeast of Cullman, you can see the city of Gadsden. We are located almost exactly in the middle of those two cities. We're very near a purple line.
Lance found this paper in our backyard today. We looked it up, and Peterson is about 8 miles north of Tuscaloosa. If you look on the map above, Tuscaloosa is just west of Birmingham. I would love to know what happened to her.
If you would like to see more pictures of the tornadoes around Alabama, please go here.
This is an amazing video of the tornado that hit Tuscaloosa, it could be rated an EF5. There is some language in it, so you can turn down your volume.