We had storms here the night before. I had gone to work over behind the Alabama Music Hall of Fame with no power, internet and one cup of coffee I had gotten at Krystal that morning. As I was backing out of the drive, I noticed a large limb on the porch roof. Just a very, very small sample of what would happen this day.
As I was going to work, I saw damage on 2nd Street in Sheffield. A roof across from the Shell station was damaged. I didn’t think much of it at the time since no one was hurt and the business probably had insurance. After arriving at the job site, it was a small job for a lady that was about to go to work herself. She was a pharmaceutical rep at the time and was going to Madison that day.
I start to work and all is going well. I notice it is getting darker and darker outside. Thunder starts to roll in the distance and the lightning begins to show with the darkness of the clouds. I become a bit concerned at this point and go to the front door to look out. Pea sized hail covers the porch and at first I thought it was tree blossoms. After stepping onto the porch, it crunched and I knew it wasn’t blossoms. For those not familiar with the warning system in Colbert County, it talks to you. Not a word could I understand but figured it wasn’t good with the way the weather was looking. I go back in to finish the job hoping the power stays on so that I can. Luckily it did and on the return trip home I am going through Tuscumbia on Cave Street and I see trees down that weren’t down that morning. Not little trees, large Oaks that have been there for a long time. The road is also blocked at Deshler due to water across the road. So I detour and make it back to Florence and home to still no power or internet. It would be two or three days before I could see the devastation in Phil Campbell, Hackleburg, Pisgah, Tuscaloosa and other areas. When I did get to see the devastation, I just sat there in shock of the lives lost, the damage and the size of the tornados. Peoples videos via their phones showed massive destruction as it happened. It was just heartbreaking to see the lives lost along with the damage. 238 lives lost in Alabama alone, 324 all total throughout the remainder of the South.