It's happened again. Severe weather rolled across north Alabama last week causing destruction and deaths. Sometimes it's hard to put into words what happened. But we’ll try.
For eight hours Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning, we were under the gun with severe weather. That includes five tornados that touched down in north Alabama. We were on the air warning people in the path. We worried about our own loved ones. Chief meteorologist Jason Simpson got choked up on the air when he pointed to a severe storm over his neighborhood and shared with our viewers, “I had a moment to check on my own family who's right there. They're right there in that. They're perfectly fine right now. They're safe. They're in their safe spot.”
We do our best to keep everyone safe. Melody Davis sought shelter in a closet just before a tornado ripped the roof off her Madison County home. “That`s when this big rumbling came through and it felt like pressure was trying to lift stuff up,” she said.
Just down the road, Heidi Rose who owns Flint Ridge Farms told us, “I think we’re probably still in shock.” A barn roof was gone but the 35 horse inside survived. Rose adding, “The hand of God came down over the barn.”
As the storm passed over Union Grove, a storm victim told us, “Stuff started flying, debris everywhere. We just hunkered down and started praying.” People were just thankful to be alive.
But some of our neighbors in Jackson County didn’t make it. Sheriff Chuck Phillips was on the scene of massive destruction saying, “You really wouldn't know it was a mobile home if you didn't know what it was before.” We lost three people in Rosalie. They were in a mobile home on Highway 71. “The storm just carried it across the road and destroyed the mobile home at that's where the three bodies were found,” the sheriff said.
Family members tried to say as many physical memories they could find in a field and a ditch across the road. Family member Bob Bright fought back tears as he remembered them telling us, “They were pretty good people. It’s gonna be hard.”
It will take time to heal the broken hearts and rebuild what was damaged or destroyed. But one thing won’t change. Danny Whitmore, Assistant Chief of the Rosalie Volunteer Fire Department, say it best with three words, “This is home.” Even a tornado can’t take that from us.