Friday, April 29, 2011

Friday Afternoon Update

I've been at my school most of the day.  Our schools are still out, but one of the most affected areas lost their elementary school (Alberta Elementary).  Their 3rd, 4th, and 5th grades are moving into our school, so we've been there today helping them and fielding donations that are coming in.

We also have been calling all of our families in the damage path to see how they are.  I am so proud to report that ALL of my children and parents are alive!!  I have two that lost their home, but homes can be replaced.  I am so, so thankful that my babies were protected.

I haven't written a lot about what I've seen on here, just because some of it is too graphic.  I honestly haven't taken a lot of pictures either.  I don't feel that this is a tourist spot, and I wouldn't want people taking pictures of my home if it was in shambles, so I just haven't.  If you want to see pictures or videos, there are thousands out there...just google it.  I have gotten a couple of pictures of just areas or personal things.

This is 15th street, about an hour after.  This was the first time I had seen it, since it was too early for pictures at that point.  If you know the area, this is where you come out from Midtown on 15th street.  You used to not be able to even see past this road it was so populated.  And now you can see all the way to DCH, probably half a mile away.  This is probably the biggest intersection in Tuscaloosa.

I pass this area EVERY SINGLE DAY to go to work.  And it will never look the same.

Our sweet, sweet friends from Atlanta have a game day house in The Downs, which was right in the damage path.  This is what it looked like yesterday.  It literally looks like someone picked the house up about 30 feet in the air and dropped it.  There is insulation EVERYWHERE inside, and half of the walls are falling in.  It's devastating.  We spent most of the afternoon helping them get their valuables out because, unfortunately, looting has become a problem at night.

This was my board when I got to school this morning.  I always, always change the date on my board and get ready for the next day before I leave in the afternoon...that way, if I walk in at the last minute, I can just get started teaching.  It almost made me cry just seeing that date on the board.

This was one of the many convoys I've seen over the past few days...these were cherry pickers, I'm guessing to get trees and power lines cleaned up.  There have also been power trucks, police cars, you name it...I've seen a convoy of it since Wednesday.

I cannot tell you how overwhelmed I am by the outpouring of love and support I've (and the rest of the city has) seen over the past two days.  It is just incredible.  I've had at least 8 (sorry, I'm trying to keep up with them) emails of people asking if they could donate items.  If you do still want to donate (whether you field it through me or not), the most needed items are baby products (diapers, formula, etc.), shoes, school supplies, backpacks, and books.  Bottled water is also needed, but we had a lot of donations of water at my school this morning, so I'm guessing everybody else is too.  I couldn't help but laugh a little, half of the cases of water at my school were LSU bottles, which I'm guessing were what they sell at their sporting events...not that we're not thankful for them, but just funny that they would end up here.  Ironic, huh? :)

 I will never forget looking at Noah Wednesday morning and saying, "A lot of people are going to die today."  I was right.  As of right now, we're at 50 confirmed, there are about 500 missing, and I've heard a lot unidentified.  It is horrific here.  Noah is from South Mississippi and went through Katrina, but I never really got it until this.  Just when you see your hometown in's devastating.

Again, thank you for ALL of your prayers, well wishes, and donations.  It is just amazing.  If you'd like more information on what you can do to help, click here.