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2011/05/11 13:48
Date: Thu, May 5, 2011 at 10:41 AM
Subject:: Storms here

Dear Alice,

Thank you so very much for your Easter wishes - it brightened up our holiday to hear from our special friends.

We wanted to give you an update on what has been happening here. Last Wednesday, there were literally hundreds of strong tornadoes that swept through Alabama and the Southeastern United States. The nuclear power plant that supplies most of this area with electricity was also severely damaged and they said it could be a week or more before the power was restored.

Last Wednesday night was terrible - we think that's the most scared we've ever been in a storm. From our dining room window, we saw an enormous tornado forming and heading our way, but the wind was so strong, it headed in a different direction. There are towns that no longer exist.

We left town on Friday to get to a place with power and got back home yesterday. We think our power actually came back on sometime Monday. There are still about 50,000 people without power (after a week), but they think everyone will be back online by this weekend.

As we left town, we drove through some of the hard-hit areas. The pictures we’ve seen on TV or in the papers still don’t convey how devastating the damage is – it can’t be realized until you see it in person. The death toll statewide is over 250 with over 100 of those in north Alabama – there are still many listed as missing.

In spite of all the destruction and loss of life, it has been incredibly heartwarming to see how much neighbors and even strangers have reached out to help others. It has reminded us of the inherent kindness in people to think of and to help others in times of need.

Much love,

Steve & Marilyn
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