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A Tornado Hit My Little Town Today

Discussion in 'The Members Lounge' started by Slipdigit, Jan 19, 2019.

  1. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    I live in central Alabama, about 10 miles from a little town just north of the capital.

    We got a tornado warning on our phones, so we turned on the TV to see where it was. We found out it was to the west of us and would not hit us, but was threatening to hit the town to our west. We continued to watch the weatherman and they had a camera either up on the ridgeline or on the hotel that caught shaky, grainy video of the tornado as it roared by.

    It hit the downtown area.

    The area around the First Baptist and First Presbyterian Churches were heavily damaged. FBC was badly damaged and the 170 year old Presbyterian Church was completely destroyed. It was such a beautiful building that can never be replaced. A good many houses were destroyed, including one near and dear to me. In 2010, we celebrated the 90th birthday of Mr. Sanford, the subject of my book published 2012, at the home of a close husband and wife friend of his. It was a joyous affair at a beautiful home that is now gone.

    The tornado crossed the river and damaged more buildings and houses in the downtown area, but not as badly as those west of the river.

    The tornado started so quickly people did not have time to get out of their vehicles, which were tossed around and otherwise damaged.

    No fatalities reported yet, but rescue people have not searched every structure yet. I'm hoping they come up empty-handed.

    Mid-60s today, 20s tomorrow. The leading edge of the front has (literally) blown through and the sun is shining.
     
  2. KMZgirl

    KMZgirl Member

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    Sorry to hear that. I live in Pike Cointy, Alabama. We just had high winds and heavy rain. Glad you are safe.
     
  3. Otto

    Otto Gearing up. Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    Well damn, a tornado!

    Glad you are OK Slip! I hope they come up empty-handed as well.
     
  4. Half Track

    Half Track Active Member

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    So sorry to hear of this and all the damage, but glad that you are safe.
     
  5. USMCPrice

    USMCPrice Idiot at Large

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    Glad you're OK Slip! We got whacked really hard by tornados several years back. Nature's power is incredible.
     
  6. Terry D

    Terry D Active Member

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    Oh, man, I'm glad you are OK. I'm very sorry to hear about the churches and the old house and I'm hoping that there are no fatalities. I like the South, but the tornadoes are one of the things which deter me from living there.
     
  7. TD-Tommy776

    TD-Tommy776 Man of Constant Sorrow

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    Jeff, it is good to hear that you are okay and that there are no fatalities reported so far. The property loss is significant and very sad, but buildings can be rebuilt unlike human lives. Of course, the beauty and meaningfulness of those buildings can never be replaced. If you have any photos of those buildings (pre-tornado of course), it would be nice to see them.
     
  8. harolds

    harolds Member

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    Glad you're ok and hope the body count stays at zero! Nature is cruel!
     
  9. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    Thanks, guys and gals, for your concern of my fair city.

    A few injuries, none significant, and thankfully no fatalities. Just a path of destruction running along the west side of the river, then crossing over to the east, mostly laying down trees there.That beautiful Gothic Revival Presbyterian Church built in the 1850s is pile of broken lumber now. Maybe they can use some of the heart pine lumber from the original in the replacement building. The First Baptist Church sanctuary is heavily damaged, with the steeple toppled and part of the roof missing. A separate building on the campus, sort of a multi-purpose building, is badly damaged and in danger of collapsing. It will probably be dropped before it falls.
    .
    The police department and several stores were damaged, along with a good many destroyed and heavily damaged homes. Fortunately the path was only a few hundred feet wide and maybe 1/2 of a mile or less long.

    The storm blew up so quickly, people were not able to get out of their cars, which were bounced around and wrapped up in power lines. Amazingly no one was killed, which is a miracle in itself.

    We don't usually experience tornadoes in January. This is an anomaly but it does happen every few years.
     
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  10. jagdpanther44

    jagdpanther44 Battlefield wanderer

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    Jeff, It's good to know that there were no fatalities and the damage wasn't more significant.

    There was a brief news report on television here in the UK today which didn't go in to much detail. It did make me wonder if tornadoes were a common occurrence at this time of year but I found my answer in the last sentence in your previous post.
     
  11. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

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    We just had a freak December tornado here in the Kitsap, which is truly crazy, not just for the time of year, but because tornadoes are so uncommon west of the Cascades in the Pacific Northwest. Jolly and I were driving home from SeaTac returning from our South America cruise and thought the weather was odd, but never realized a tornado was passing through Port Orchard just a mile or so away from us. Freaky scary changes in the climate.

    I've been stuck in my car in a minor tornado - real just a severe rotational storm o_O - on the Beltway in DC during a summer thunderstorm and seen the aftereffects of tornadoes driving through the mid-West...that is as close as I ever want to get to a real tornado!
     
  12. KMZgirl

    KMZgirl Member

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    I was watching the weather live and the news anchor was checking out one of those weather cams that show what's going on outside. It just happened to show a tornado in the distance in Wetumpka. I grabbed my bug out back. Thankfully, it didn't get bad where I am. But that thing looked like a monster. It was live and just by chance he shared it on air. Amazing and scary....
     
  13. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    Maybe for the better...

    This was the first year that there was no F4 or F5 tornado in the US. Mind you, the Fujita scale only measures destruction caused, not wind speed. Also, it was one of the lowest years for the number of official tornadoes.
     
  14. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

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    And in return the mid-west and east gets multiple rolling snow and ice storms, followed by frigid air for weeks? Heck, last year we had near drought conditions in the PNW from March through November...our November was the driest on record and it is normally our wettest month.

    Not sure that I appreciate that is for the better because we had a year of fewer destructive tornadoes.
     
  15. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    At least here my part of the east, the winter has been relatively mild. This last storm was a washout, but it brought our first real cold snap.

    Location, location, location...Here in Reading, PA, 2018 was the wettest year on record.
     
  16. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Staff Member Patron  

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    Scary, Jeff. Glad you are safe. Wetumka did make the news.
     
  17. CAC

    CAC Ace of Spades

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    During the Canberra fires I had a fire tornado run straight for me...I couldn't believe it, thought it was my imagination, it made a b-line for me! I watched it and watched as it got closer...waited until it was about 100 feet from me before getting under a car...I got twigs and dirt whipping the crap out of me from under the car, but survived no worries with a couple of scratches...when I looked at the path of this, you could tell the path by the line of dead birds it left.
    My first and hopefully last experience with a (mini) tornado...!
    [​IMG]
     
  18. JJWilson

    JJWilson Well-Known Member

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    Glad your okay Slip!! Terribly sorry to hear about your town, and I too hope there are no fatalities.
     
  19. mcoffee

    mcoffee Son-of-a-Gun(ner)

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    Not to minimize the impact to those affected, but nothing 'freaky' involved here
    Al Tornados.jpg
     
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  20. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    Another tornado has just passed 15 miles to the north of us and few miles north of my little town. Initial reports are showing heavy damage to homes and businesses in the track. I'm hoping there are no injuries or deaths. We have friends who live in the area and I hope to hear of their safety soon.
     

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