Well. After a weekend of frantic work, now the rain is moving in and we’re pondering all the work that remains. An amazing amount of work has been done in the last few days to clear the road and make recovery possible, despite the traffic issues caused by local and outside lookie-loos. The only time I’ve gone out was Saturday morning, to help a friend evacuate some stuff out of his destroyed cabin before the rain moved in this week. Access was along one of two roads that were ground zero for the tornado, Dallas Ave and Old Orville Road, and they were absolutely destroyed. There must be thousands of trees down in that area alone — 42 in one yard! — and impact is almost universal. It’s worse than any hurricane or tornado in living memory, and arguably the worst thing to hit Selma since the Federal army in 1865. On Saturday, downtown swelled with activity as people took advantage of the break from rain to go to work clearing properties and serving those in need. All of the downtown churches were serving meals, for instance, and (in my church’s case, at least) making deliveries to those who couldn’t make it to us. The same was true on Sunday: there was no shortage of people serving food and administering supplies, from local organizations to outside help. The amount of people coming in to help is frankly, overwhelming: I’ve never seen so many utility trucks in my life, and I imagine two-thirds of Alabama’s state trooper force were in Dallas County this past weekend. There are other areas that have been devestated, too — Jeff Davis/J.L. Chestnut, which I haven’t attempted to try to access. A friend of mine was in one of our historic black churches leading a support group when it collapsed: fortunately, he was in the basement which has a separate exit. Swapping survivor stories and rumors of damage has become the favorite new pasttime, though not all information is accuracy: I don’t know how many times I’ve been told that Winn-Dixie and Morgan Academy were destroyed. (Morgan Academy was untouched, and Winn-Dixie is closed but hard at work repairing itself.) The Library is open today, and we’re doing our best to collect information on resources and communicate that to the people in need. We’ve a long row to hoe, as they used to say.
Reviews forthcoming for Buzz Sting Bite and Adventures with Ed.
If you are interested in giving:
All of these shots were taken trying to navigate to my buddy’s house on Saturday morning. The last shot is taken from the property, which used to be completely forested. His house was completely covered in shade, and now it’s wide open save for the debris.
Good to see things moving so swiftly in the right direction. There’s certainly no danger of running out of firewood for the foreseeable future for those who use it!
There are still some places with massive piles of wood from when Zeta hit in October 2020! No doubt they harbor little ecosystems now.