Funnel clouds raced across north east Mississippi and western Alabama yesterday, leaving mass devastation. The tiny Mississippi town of Smithville (near Amory) and Tuscaloosa were hardest hit in our area.
I finally heard from our friends Olivia and Mack Portera who live in Tuscaloosa. I understand the tornedo passed right over the University of Alabama where Mack is chancellor, but their homes and those of their children escaped harm. Haven’t heard form Janice Buck yet. I know you all join me in wishing the best for all affected by these killer storms.
At least 178 deaths are being blamed on the weather with the majority of the deaths reported in Alabama with 128 people killed, including 32 in the city of Tuscaloosa alone.
Meanwhile, the Golden Triangle was left in the dark for some 18 hours as damage to TVA’s transmission system cut power. Stores closed mid afternoon on Wednesday and schools canceled classes for today.
The experience was beyond weird. Residents in Starkville moved to their porches and patios to escape heat in the aftermath of the day-long weather assault. No one knew what to do with themselves, and rumors were rampant in the absence of any broadcast news about the fate of neighboring communities.
I couldn’t even use my cell phone because I’d failed to charge it. Once the power was cut, it remained dead as a doornail. For the first time in two years, I regretted pulling the plug on my land line.
Today, I awoke to the sound of my television blaring out. What a relief! Power restored! We could now get some news, but it was much worse than I feared. So much loss.