>> Friday, March 02, 2007
A beautiful day is settling into the Carolinas today. Aside from some swollen rivers and streams, you would hardly know a powerful system swept through last night.
A few thoughs about the tragedy in Alabama. First of all, I was born and raised in Alabama, and I have witnessed the destruction of quite a few large tornadoes. One of the most surreal experiences in my life was when I surveyed the horrific damage from the April 8, 1998 F-5 tornado that ripped through western Jefferson County in the Birmingham metro. The damage that occurred in Oak Grove and McDonald's Chapel was simply the worst I had ever seen. Not a building was left standing in the path of that tornado. I vividly recall standing in the parking lot of what was left of the Open Door Baptist Church and seeing all of the cars from the church parking lot tossed down into a large revine beside the church. Behind the church was a large residential area, and I simply remember staring in awe at the incredible destruction. It was simply gone...like some footage you see of a war zone. If memory serves, 32 people lost their lives in that tornado that day.
I bring that up because the footage I have seen from Enterprise, Alabama, albeit limited thus far, immediately took me back to that experience in April almost nine years ago. The damage footage I have seen took me back to that tragic scene that is still etched in my memory. From what I can tell, I feel the Enterprise tornado will be rated at least an EF-3, and probably at least an EF-4 on the new Enhanced Fujita Scale. NWS survey crews will be going through the damage areas today, and we will probably have an official EF rating sometime this afternoon.
The debate will also rage on as to whether or not schools should let children out early on afternoons that severe weather is expected. I personally am of the opinion that kids in most situations are more safe at school than they would be at home, but this is another debate for another blog post sometime.
I am off today. Spending some time with my wife this afternoon and tonight. My next blog post will probably not be until sometime later Saturday evening.