Roamy here, hoping you don’t mind some personal blogging. On April 27th, a total of 52 tornadoes hit Alabama, including 6 EF-3, 8 EF-4 and 2 EF-5 tornadoes. (source) 238 people died, and in places like Tuscaloosa, Cullman, Hackleburg, and Phil Campbell, the devastation is beyond words. (One small bit of humor – when we were watching the weather report, and they announced a tornado warning for the town of Phil Campbell, my daughter asked, “They are warning one guy?”) The main transmission lines out of the local power plant were knocked out, affecting nearly 1 million people.
The damage from the stronger tornadoes is severe enough to be seen from orbit.
Nearly 3,000 National Guardsmen were called to active duty to respond to the disaster. About 2,000 are still helping with cleanup and relief efforts. I was not personally affected by the tornadoes, other than no power for a week, but I can still appreciate how the National Guard responded. I cannot possibly thank them enough.
Also, many thanks go out to the Army side of Redstone Arsenal. Marshall had generators running and was ready to support the launch of STS-134 two days after the tornadoes hit. I heard they also opened up the commissary, including the gas station, to the Mission Ops employees who still had to be on duty.
With the power and water back on, things are slowly getting back to normal. Thank you for all the prayers and good thoughts over the last couple of weeks.