The wild storms that ripped through Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee on Wednesday night came a bit too close for comfort here in NW Georgia. My husband, my dog, Ellie, and I spent most of that night in our basement, wondering if our house would be blown away. We were told by our local news stations and various internet weather maps that we were in the direct path of the possibly two mile wide tornado that already had a deadly history in Tuscaloosa and Birmingham. They were pretty close to being right since it passed less than two miles south of us, leaving a wake of destruction in its path and taking down a string of power poles, shearing roofs and toppling trees. It continued its destruction in an area of beautiful farms and country estates southeast of us, where it completely leveled many houses and barns. Shortly, after that one came through, another was headed toward us but hit about 4 miles south of us, leaving another path of destruction.
The Southeastern U.S. has been devastated by these powerful storms in the last couple of weeks. The last count I heard was that there were over 300 people killed in Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee from the storms that hit . Thirty-five people were killed in a single parking lot in a very small town in Alabama. They were gathered there because the power was off and they stood in the mall parking lot with no warning of the approaching storm. I don't think they have any idea yet of how many homes and businesses were damaged or destroyed.
In the county where I live, over 200 homes were badly damaged or completely leveled. Many houses were reduced to matchsticks. Tin from barns has been found wrapped around power poles and trees. Many people's lives have been turned upside down for a time, some perhaps forever, but there was no loss of life in our county and for that we are grateful. It will take many months to get things back to some semblance of order but there is an outpouring of love from our churches (people) and organizations that will be there to lift up, clean up, provide shelter, food, water, clothing, household items and whatever else is needed until the job is done.