March 1, 2007 is a date few Alabamians will forget, that's for certain.
Today has been one of those juicy pre-Spring days, the kind of weather which oozes late April in feel and gallops its climatological horse through the corridors of our atmosphere crying, "The 'naders are coming, the 'naders are coming!"
It started with the 4:01 p.m. NPR newscast, which led with the tornado that struck the southeast Alabama city of Enterprise just hours before, tearing up the high school. Talk about a sledgehammer to my attention -- I know where Enterprise High School is. And I also know just what's maybe two miles due northeast of said school: the house where my brother and his family live!!
I called Mom & Dad's house in Troy (which, from what I saw, seemed to be under one tornado warning or another damn near half the day) and asked if she'd heard anything from my SIL, and if their two daughters were okay. Indications I got were that my brother was trying his best to get back home, and that his wife had pulled the girls out of school. They rode the storm in a closet, and at report time the twister managed to pull itself off the ground before getting to their neighborhood.
Any other questions were sidetracked by my clearly being able to hear the tornado siren in the background over there. Another warning for Pike County. I let Mom go and at least felt satisfied that my nieces were okay. Yeah, and my brother and wife ... but especially the girls.
I've seen the footage plenty of times already. WTVY in nearby Dothan shot some impressive video. My heart breaks for those poor kids whose school day started like any other, but came to a shattered ending with dead classmates forever etched into their memories.
This isn't over yet for the Coastal Empire, though. The last line of storms has already entered Jawja, and should be on our doorstep by 2 or 3:00 in the morning.
Ciao for niao. Provided, of course, we still have a roof over our head come sunrise.
--Talmadge "I wonder if the boll weevil survived" Gleck
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