Wednesday, April 27, 2011

April Fury 2011

Upon moving to the Deep South, you find out pretty quick about tornado sirens and that if there is bad weather, the local celebrity meteorologist, James Span, is going to be on your local channels instead of your favorite shows. I remember a month or two after moving to Alabama, a bad storm going through and  JS (James Span) coming on the tv warning his viewers of possible tornadoes. Being that I've never experienced this, I kind of freaked out. B was at work and I was home alone in a new place with our 3 or 4 month old baby boy. I called B and asked him what I should do and he told me just keep watch on the weather and that the hall bathroom would be the safest place to go in case of an emergency. Well I had no clue in the difference between a *Tornado Warning* or a *Tornado Watch*, and right now I cant even remember which one it was. All I know is the sounds of sirens and the talk of tornados freaked me out so I gathered flashlights, formula, water, a mattress, my laptop, and Baby E and went into the bathroom. Thankfully nothing happened but at the same time it also gave me the sense that *maybe* the people in the south *freak out* just a tad when it comes to weather. Kind of like when people hear the word snow and the grocery stores become mad houses and quickly sell out of bread and milk. In the next two years after my first tornado *incident* I basically ignored the weather interruptions and actually became annoyed that I would miss my favorite shows due to the appearance of the ever so famous James Span. That is, until April 27, 2011. After this day, I will never take the weather warning for granted as I am sure there are many others that wont either.
We were in Bham staying at the Buss house, because I had my 6 week follow up appt. There were early morning storms, with loud thunder and heavy rain. The Nobles told us that when they woke up there was no power and that their street and streets around them had a lot of tree damage and trees on houses and cars. They were pretty much trapped in their neighborhood from all of the damage. Luckily no damage to their house and we later (the next day) find out that it was a EF2 tornado that went through. All day JS had storm coverage of what is yet to come in the afternoon and that everyone should take precautions. My appt was cancelled so we decided to head home so that we werent driving in the storms. We didnt even make it out of Bham before we turned around after finding out we too had no power in Hville due to weather and that there had been a few tornado sightings. We didnt want to go home to no power with a newborn so we decided to go back to the Buss house and wait it out. For once we stayed glued to the weather and JS and decided around 530 or 6 that we should go down into the basement and get the closet under the stairs cleared out, you know, *just in case*. We were still taking it very lightly and even joked around, taking pictures, and drinking cocktails.
James Span has got us covered

E and Uncle Jimmy
the babies checking out our *storm shelter*

2.0 passed out...storm watching is exhausting. 
Waiting out the storm that was going over/past us.
 Before it reached Bham, we watched in HORROR as an EF5 tornado ravaged through Tuscaloosa where our favorite Caroline was. (Thankfully she was okay.) If you know anything about tornados, they *say* that they sound like a really loud train whistle. At one point there was a VERY LOUD train whistle like sound and at first I thought it was in my imagination but Lindy and I both looked at each other at the same time with wide eyes, so I knew she had heard it too. That was a freak out moment and we quickly decided to move into our closet. (as shown in above picture.) There was rain so thick you couldnt see out the windows and SUPER loud thunder and lightning. The weather reported that Tville had a cyclone above it but it never touched down. After the storm passed and we were reassured that all of our friends were ok, we glued ourselves to the reports on TV. They were absolutely heartbreaking. The death tolls started to rise. (I think the ending toll was well over 300, with over 200 of those in Alabama alone.) We were feeling VERY blessed that no one we knew *directly* was hurt or lost their lives. We do know of several who had family lose their homes and had damage to their own homes. Here is a map of the tornados that went through Alabama that day. If you will noticed the two pink lines that have a break in them right above the word Birmingham...we were in that little *pocket*. Seeing that makes me feel even more blessed.

The days after were kind of a blur. The ENTIRE Hville area was without power for at least 6 days so we were thankful to stay with the Buss family where there was power. Lindy and I drove through an area hit with the EF2 the day after and took a few pictures...

There was a point late that night when we were reading about damage near our own home and we were a little panicked about the unknown. The hardest hit spots in the Hville area were right near our house, and we had no idea if we were even going to have a house to go home to.  Again, thankfully the next morning we found out all was well. The only damage we had was a few shingles on our roof and our fence blew over....
our fence damage

our damage along with neighbors

our tiny tiny shingle damage


so thankful to have a house.

 Then I drove down the road, and couldnt believe just how close the tornado hit close to home.

how far tornado was from our can *see*the damage from our road. It was THAT close

first thing i see

use to be a piggly wiggly

house in a subdivision

the inside of a house

a car that had been picked up and slammed down

what use to be a supermarket

Then you keep driving....
Thats the second story of the collapsed on top of the first story.

a whole neighborhood/street basically wiped out

amazes me the people that take advantage of such awful situations

the *X* means the house has been searched for survivors/victims 
this *USE* to be a house. the house is no longer there. only the floor of the foundation.

part of a childs cozy coupe :(

this just brings tears to my eyes

I wasn't really sure if I was going to post about this or not since we were not *directly* affected by the tornados. But after much thought, I decided I wanted to remember this day. I also wanted our boys to remember this day. This blog has basically been a *virtual* baby book for them and for me. I want them to be able to read all of these one day and know about everything that happened while they were growing up and where life has taken us. With this post I wanted them to see that they lived in a state that even though it was beaten down by one of the worst storm systems in 40 years, and that even though some neighborhoods and areas were basically left in splinters, the people of Alabama were resilient and came together to help one another. It has been amazing to see and April 27, 2011 will def be a day I will always remember. 

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

new age date


Monday, April 25, 2011


We spent one Saturday afternoon at Bridgestreet and it was so much fun. There were balloon animals, face painting, icecream, and fountains. It will def be a staple in our summertime plans.


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