For days our local meteorologists had been discussing a significant cluster of storms that would be heading our way Sunday night into Monday morning (1/23). The advanced warning was eerily similar to when they warned us in advance of the tornadoes last April (facebook is where I keep up with our weather; technology has come a long way). I kept watching throughout the day Sunday to see when the time predictions were for our area to be hit. The final verdict was the Birmingham area 2-4: am on Monday morning. I debated with Doug on whether I should set my alarm clock, but instead we set the TV alarm to come on James Spann’s channel at 2am.
At 3:45 a clap of thunder woke me up. I assume that the tv decided not to turn itself on at 2:00. I immediately turn on the news and saw that we were under a tornado warning. They stated that the tornado was at the Walmart in Huffman headed down the interstate to Trussville/Clay and Deerfoot Parkway. I texted my mom-in-law, who lives off Deerfoot, to tell her it was headed their way. They were able to make it to their safe place before it hit. Apparently their house rumbled and shook and made noises they had never heard before. Immediately afterwards the news was reporting neighborhoods by them being leveled as well as neighborhoods by my childhood home of the 1st 22 years of my life. We had taken the boys to our downstairs to wait out the storm. As pictures began to flood the internet I was in shock. The area in which I had grown up in was forever changed. From Centerpoint to Clay was sheer devastation. Doug was immediately called into work (5am) and my in-laws were without power and Deerfoot was closed for travel. I ended up staying home with the boys that day.
There were cops blocking the entrance to their neighborhood and I had to tell them the address that I was going through to be able to enter their neighborhood. Very scary and surreal. I could hear several chainsaws, and it just seemed as if a bomb had gone off. I couldn’t even see the worst of it all.
A great weather blog to summarize the day, with pics: http://originalweatherblog.blogspot.com/2012/01/one-or-more-strong-tornadoes-strike.html
These are a few pics that I pulled from the blog above:
These next few pics are near where I grew up ( I have no pics of my old neighborhood, but have watched ariel footage and my childhood home was hit):