It’s hard to see people in such a hard time. It’s by far the biggest tragedy that I’ve ever experienced. The morning I arrived in Tuscaloosa I was catching some local news on what was happening in the town, and they featured a church who’s building had been completely destroyed. The people still gathered, though, at their building’s old location, sitting on folding chairs amongst the rubble. Seeing that sort of fellowship brought a warmth to the community that no wind could remove, and I continued to see that every single day I was out helping those in need.
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest
Pieces of Hope
Love is everywhere, often it’s not particularly dignified or newsworthy, but it’s always there.
In Front of What’s Left
A man and daughter stand roadside, passing out water and snacks for volunteers, construction workers, and anyone in need. Their backdrop is common in this part of town; buildings left half in tact, as if the winds peeled back the building’s ceiling and walls to see what was inside.
This symbol has been seen before. It has deep connotations to those who’ve ever experienced it first hand.
As search and rescue teams made their way around the path of the tornado, buildings and even cars were marked to show that they have been properly inspected. Each section represents a different meaning; the top being the date, left is the team designation, right is hazardous materials. The bottom is reserved for a number that we all hope to see as zero, being persons found.
It’s surprisingly hard for me to write about a lot of these photos. I’ve tried my best to convey a certain feeling thru them, but the words of sympathy sometimes seem hollow.
Posted – No Trespassing
I think this may have been the hardest hit commercial spot in Tuscaloosa, the Wood Square Shopping Center. If you want to see an aerial before and after, click HERE. The street that this photo was taken on is four lanes wide, plus a median, sidewalks, etc. One of the buildings in this parking lot had a couple of company vans in the lot when the tornado came thru. A few days after taking this photo I was heading the other direction down the same road, and happened to notice something that caught my eye, seemingly out of place. One of the vans had cleared then parking lot, street, and ended up on the other side of McFarland from where it was parked.
Taking a look at this photo, I can’t imagine what kind of mayhem was happening while this storm bore thru this area. The wreckage behind this now restricted area gives an idea of the power that could take a full size van and ‘relocate’ it some 250 or so feet.
Cloth on the Cross
Thru the heart wrenching destruction surrounding, hope and faith remains.
As we walked from one area to another (driving really wasn’t a great option, especially on the roads likely to have people needing help) a sight that can touch the emotions of anyone, whether being of a faith or not. A group of people sifting amongst mangled metal, snapped trees and boards, attempting to recover pieces of their lives that have been left behind.
I have no question in my mind that we will recover from this. The people of Tuscaloosa have banded together in community and will overcome this tragedy.