May 032011
 

~ Once again IMHO not all is wjat it seems, it is NOT Mother Nature all by her lonesome…~JP

Causing EF2 to EF3 Damage:

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May 032011
 

Seventh Day Adventists Church on Highway 9 in Goshen, destroyed by an F4 tornado April 27, 2011. No one was injured. Dixon Hayes reports on the damage and the rebuilding efforts.

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May 032011
 

Steve Ohnesorge talks to people in Hackleburg who say they will rebuild despite losing 17 people and most of the town’s homes and buildings to an EF-5 tornado last week…

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May 032011
 

God DOES work in mysterious ways…

Hueytown High School baseball coach Rick Patterson is thankful his Pleasant Grove house caught on fire a few months ago… because if it hadn’t, he or his family would have likely been at home last week when a tornado destroyed it and their neighborhood. Rick Karle reports…

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May 032011
 

BTW on Chapter 8, I KNEW IT!!!

:: Viewer Discretion Advised ::

Chapter 9 – The Priest relates a moment from his past

Chapter 10 – The Confessor reveals his intentions

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May 032011
 

~ Do you remember when a newspaper WAS a newspaper? The dedication? The devotion? The TRUTH? This story is a must read JUST what Jerome Wassmann who is the is editor and publisher of the Daily Mountain Eagle here in Jasper, AL., a town of appox. 20,000 citizens. went through with his staff to get our local news published. It is a MUST read story…~JP

I would tell you that the past nearly week, has been a nightmare for me. But it has been a nightmare for many in the area. And it has been a tragedy for several local families. To those that are having to accept the loss of a loved one, their home and their entire possessions and businesses, we express our sincere concern. Although many of us will think of these past days in the future as something we were able to endure, to others it will be a day of tragedy and loss.

As I have said before I have never been one to be overly concerned about bad weather but this past week has been one that has made me change my attitude. Other than having to deal with the loss of a newspaper to fire in 1981, I have never had to handle a situation like I went through last week. The areas of destruction and devastation were almost incomprehensible and unbelievable. The forces of nature can do damage beyond belief. And that we all witnessed last week.

Coming to work on Wednesday morning I saw a large tree down in a resident’s yard and thought to myself, “the ground must be really saturated because it looks like that tree just gave way at the roots and toppled over.” It was shortly thereafter that I received a call from one of my employees of some damage downtown. What he didn’t tell me (because I’m sure he didn’t know) was that I couldn’t get downtown nor to the office the route I was taking because of a large tree that was down and laying across Alabama Avenue. After finding another way to the office and elsewhere, I did end up downtown and could see what he had described to me on my cell phone. I found out a little later that at the bottom of all of those bricks and mortar was an automobile. Had one of my photographers not told me there was car under all of the debris I would have never known.

After seeing the downed trees throughout my route as well as the downed power and phone lines, I knew the early morning Wednesday storm was more than just a good drenching and some wind. However, even at that point, I was not aware of the extent of the damage to the community and surrounding areas.

And I certainly was not prepared for what followed later in the day. The tornadoes that struck nearly back to back would leave communities leveled beyond belief. And lives changed forever.

As a result of the severe weather that caused a county-wide power outage, and the folks at Alabama Power saying we could have power back as early as 2 p.m. Wednesday afternoon, I did not get overly alarmed. However when that time came and no power, the second call was made and we were informed it may be back on around 8 p.m. I was too impatient and had one of my reporters call about 5 o’clock to see how they were doing. At that time we were told there were crews on the scene and we may be back operating about 5:30 or 6 p.m. When that didn’t happen, we were at a loss as the utility company said they really didn’t know when we could expect power because of all of the devastation.

That is when we began plugging up laptop computers into the accessory outlets of our company vehicles. Sitting on our circulation dock and watching three reporters sitting in one of our vehicles and typing stories was almost picture worthy. But it at least got us started with doing stories even though we could not run our presses.

Thanks to the ingenuity of several of my employees and the capabilities of the generator that we purchased, we were able to get some of our computers, servers and other equipment up and running Friday morning and getting stories ready so that when the presses were able to be operated we would at least have a head start on production.

After visiting with my boss and being informed that we would be able to be printed at another newspaper we got in high gear as fast as we could to get the information to them as quickly as possible for our first newspaper since the storm on Wednesday morning. Thanks to Jonathan Willis and his crew at the Franklin County Times in Russellville, their owner Mr. Boone, and their offer to print us as long as needed, we were back in business. They were most cooperative, professional and willing to do whatever was necessary to make us feel right at home.

We finally got our power back early Saturday morning and are most grateful to all the folks at the utility companies who got to us as quickly as they could.

All of the men and women, businesses, restaurants, oil distributors, service stations, agencies and individuals have risen to the occasion to make this tragedy as bearable as possible.

For that we offer our sincere thanks!

SHARE this article so your friends & family know there are many dedicated, conservative papers left.

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May 032011
 
RebelQueen

Yvonne Traweek, owner of The Rebel Queen, points out damage to her restaurant after Wednesday’s tornado. She said her and her husband crawled out of the debris near the door just in front of her. – Photo by: James Phillips

CORDOVA — Yvonne Traweek said there is only one explanation for her not losing her life in Wednesday’s tornado that left a large portion of Cordova completely destroyed – a miracle happened.

“Thank God that we were fine,” she said. “We should have never made it out of that rubble. This was a miracle, and I’m so thankful to be alive today.”

Traweek and her husband, Thomas, took refuge inside the men’s room of The Rebel Queen, the restaurant the couple owns. As she looked over the debris left on the slab of concrete where the Rebel Queen formerly stood, Traweek said it was the only spot where they could have survived the impact of the storm.

“We were in the bathroom right next to the toilet,” she said. “There is an iron bar that you can still see that was just over me. The entire wall came in on us. There was even an old jeep that was on top of us. That old pipe was holding everything off us.”

After the storm had passed, Traweek said the couple stumbled from the wreckage to find a different Cordova.

“It wasn’t the same,” she said. “Everything around us was destroyed.”

Traweek said they initially saw no one, but within minutes customers came looking for them.

“They knew we were in the restaurant,” she said. “One person didn’t see us and started moving stuff to try to dig us out with his bare hands. There were three different times after the storm that people came trying to dig us out.”

Despite the entire Rebel Queen building being destroyed, the Traweeks made it out with only minor injuries.

“My husband had one gash on his head,” Yvonne Traweek said. “I have a broke toe and a few slashes, including a pretty good gash on my arm, but we are OK. We are alive, and I can’t tell you how lucky we are to be here.”

Before the afternoon tornado, a smaller storm had damaged much of Cordova Wednesday morning. Traweek said the cleanup crews from that storm had just finished eating at the Rebel Queen before the twister arrived.

“If we hadn’t been the only ones in there, no one would have survived,” she said. “I would have made everyone get in the same spot with us, and we wouldn’t have made it out. It all happened just right for us to live.

I’ll be praising God for the rest of my days.”

by James Phillips

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May 032011
 
argoDamage

Ann Muse of Argo on Saturday surveys the damage caused by a storm system – Photo by: Daniel Gaddy

Four months after a ceremony in Dora honored Ann Muse’s two granddaughters, who died in a Birmingham fire in 2010, a tornado on Wednesday scoured through Muse’s neighborhood in Argo, killing her sister, another relative and sending her daughter and grandson to intensive care units in Birmingham.

“Tragedy has come again,” Muse said.

Most of Muse’s family lived on Sunny Oak Drive, just off Highway 78 in Argo, including her daughter, Alondan “Angel” Turner, and grandson, 14-year-old Alvilante Turner, who were both injured during the storm.

Four days after a record number of tornadoes pummeled the southeast, killing at least 250 people in Alabama and 14 in Walker County, Sunny Oak Drive looked like the aftermath of an atomic bomb — stripped oak trees, mangled cars and a layer of home insulation that seemed like volcanic ash covering lawns, vehicles and kitchen counter tops.

Rubble covered nearly the entire neighborhood on Saturday. On a hill near Muse’s house, the tallest oak tree stood with a piece of tin roof wrapped around it.

“I’ve never seen anything like this,” 75-year-old Muse said.

Wednesday’s severe weather also killed Muse’s sister, Lucille Waters, and Waters’ grandson-in-law,Wesley Starr.

Despite the almost inescapable wreckage, the property that once held Angel Turner’s home was left spotless aside from a few cinder blocks and a natural gas tank.

Muse’s childhood home, however, sat with the roof ripped apart and a wall collapsed, exposing a bed and Chester drawer she used as a young woman. Beyond the house, dozens of cars, riddled with dents, stood among piles of splintered wood, furniture and roofing material.

Around 50 volunteers and residents dragged the debris into piles along the street and set fire to the heaps to cut down on the sheer volume of the destruction throughout the neighborhood.

On Saturday, Muse, who is the director of the Argo Senior Citizen Community Center, left hospitals in Birmingham to inspect the damage of her current home, which also had it’s roof peeled away. As she walked through the house, cracking broken glass with her footsteps, she said “Oh, Jesus” at every section of the home that should have been familiar. Chunks of drywall littered her dining room and sunlight poured in from gaping holes in her ceiling.

Among all of the shattered picture frames and furniture coated with insulation, Muse pointed out a cabinet filled with salt and pepper shakers. She said she collects them and has several from across the country.

Not one shaker was disturbed, she said.

Muse was in the home with her nephew, Johnnie Porter, when the tornado struck. She said they made it only a short distance, from her laundry room to her kitchen, before the high-pitched whistling sound turned into shattering glass.

Muse said her entire family had their homes either damaged or destroyed by Wednesday’s tornado, and she is now living in a hotel.

When asked about the condition of her daughter and grandson, who have broken bones and head injuries, Muse said both were in stable condition and awaiting surgery Sunday.

Muse’s two granddaughters, Catherine Muse and Alondan Turner, died after flames erupted in a Days Inn in Hoover on Jan. 16 ,2010. Investigators said the blaze occurred when a maintenance worker left incense burning in a room below the young women. The hotel, which was built in the 1960s, did not have a sprinkler system — a safety measure investigators said would have completely changed the outcome of the incident.

Alondan Muse and Turner were enrolled at Mississippi University for Women when they died in 2010.

by Daniel Gaddy

ALSO SEE: Despite outpouring, supplies still needed to help Argo

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May 032011
 

A disaster recovery center operated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency has opened in Walker County for anyone affected by last week’s severe weather outbreak.

The center is set up at Cordova High School, and it will be open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. each day.

Dean Cushman, a FEMA public relations representative, said residents can register for assistance online at www.disaterassistance.gov or by calling 800-621-FEMA. The toll free number is staffed from 7 a.m. until 10 p.m. each day and help is available in all languages.

“We would like to ask anyone who can to register online or to call before visiting the disaster recovery center, if that is possible,” he said.

Cushman said the registration process is relatively simple with operators only needing a person’s name, Social Security number, contact information, address of damaged property and their income amount for 2010.

“It’s only basic information they need,” he said. “There is going to be a lot of people from several states calling right now, so we are asking for patience, but the calls need to be made now.”

Property owners with insurance should contact their insurance providers before contacting FEMA, Cushman said.

“If they have no insurance, they should immediately contact FEMA,” he added.

Cushman said the process is open for homeowners, renters and business owners who were affected by the storms. He said the types of assistance available are disaster housing for homes that were completely or severely destroyed, disaster grants that will help make home safe and functional or United States Small Business Association loans.

“There are ways people can be help, but we need to get the word out that the most important thing for those citizens to do now is to register,” Cushman said. “They shouldn’t be the judge of their own damage. If they have any damage at all, it needs to be reported because help is available.”

More disaster recovery centers could be opened in the coming days in other areas of Walker County, but Cushman said anyone in the area can visit the center in Cordova.

Gina Nichols, site manager at the Walker County Career Center, said that facility will be open each day at 7:30 a.m. for residents needing to use its telephone or Internet connection to file FEMA applications. The Walker County Career Center is located in the same parking lot as Winn-Dixie at 2604 Viking Drive in Jasper. To contact the WCCC, call 205-221-2576.

FEMA: 20 shelters open in Alabama

BIRMINGHAM — The Federal Emergency Management Agency says people who need a place to stay after the deadly tornadoes in Alabama now have 20 shelters available. The shelters are supported by the American Red Cross.

They are located at the Cullman Civic Center, Hanceville Recreation and Wellness Center, Ryan School in Joppa, Rainsville Civic Center, Carnes Recreation Center in Attalla, First Baptist Church in Russellville, Boutwell Auditorium in Birmingham, Pleasant Ridge Baptist Church in Bessemer, First Baptist Church in Dora, Moulton Armory, First Baptist Church Life Center in Athens, Good Shepherd United Methodist Church in Madison, First Baptist Church in Winfield, Albertville Recreation Center, Ashville Middle School, Belk Center Parks and Recreation Building in Tuscaloosa, the Tuscaloosa VA, Northside Baptist Church in Jasper, Hunters Chapel Holy Church of Christ in Jasper, and the Haleyville Fire Department.

Mountain Eagle

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May 032011
 

CORDOVA — Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley and Congressman Robert Aderholt came to Cordova on Monday to survey the aftermath of last week’s deadly tornado.

Bentley held a short press conference Monday afternoon at Cordova High School, which has been a hub of relief activities since the storms.

Bentley said he has been surrounded by devastation as he has toured the state over the past four days.

“Some areas are damaged worse than others, but if it hits your home, it’s major. Cordova is major,” Bentley said.

Bentley praised the various volunteers and organizations who are offering assistance to those affected by the tornado.

He gave a special thanks to first responders, including the firefighters and police officers who were on the scene soon after the tornado struck and the National Guardsman who are supporting local law enforcement now.

Bentley also thanked federal officials for granting each request that he has made.

He urged local residents to apply for aid through the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which currently has a center at the high school.

“Don’t be too proud to sign up. That’s what they (FEMA) are there for, and that’s why we pay taxes,” Bentley said.

The phone number to file a claim with FEMA is 1-800-621-FEMA (3362).

Bentley was joined at the press conference by Speaker of the House Mike Hubbard, Senate President Pro Tempore Del Marsh, Rep. Bill Roberts and Sen. Greg Reed.

Reed, a Cordova native, said the damage to the city was especially heartbreaking for him but added that he has been encouraged by the way the city has pulled together in a time of crisis.

“When the opportunity to step forward and help neighbor to neighbor, friend to friend, community to community arises, that opportunity is never lost. We take it every time,” Reed said.

Earlier in the day, Reed and several city officials walked Aderholt through the streets of Cordova.

Aderholt, who did a fly-over of the city before coming downtown, said he was deeply saddened by the destruction and loss of life that occurred in numerous communities throughout the state.

“So much attention has been given to areas like Tuscaloosa and Birmingham. With my presence here, I want to make sure people know about Cordova, Argo, Sipsey and other smaller communities around north Alabama that have been hit,” he said.

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~ Being it is our state we hear news all day long on how much many towns are in dire need. This is far from over. We were knocked out of the news, or the attempt was made with Glory Hound Obama releasing his ‘BC’. Then he takes all the credit for OBL being killed, which who knows if he even was. Then he shows up here in Tuscaloosa for his camPAIN photo op. Please let everyone you know to stop in ay JUST Piper, we bring you the Truth. And Char is always researching, investigating and locating even more Truth. Thank you. ~JP

ALSO SEE:

MONTGOMERY, AL (WBRC) -

Governor Robert Bentley praised the people of Alabama and challenged lawmakers to help storm victims and survivors during a speech Tuesday night in Montgomery.

The governor spoke before a joint session of the Alabama Legislature where he promised he would not “let these people down.”

“As leaders of this state, we will see that Alabama is rebuilt,” Bentley said.

Bentley said the tornadoes that struck Alabama last Wednesday were the worst disaster to ever hit the state of Alabama.

“The events of the last six days have been like none other in our state’s history,” Bentley said. “Our state has never seen a natural disaster of this magnitude.”

Read more…

Transcript of Gov. Bentley speech

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