Sunday, November 15, 2009

"There's a Tornado on the Ground!"

Twenty years ago today the worst tornado in Huntsville's history touched down on Airport Road at 4:37 pm. I was a Senior at Grissom High School which is just down the road from where all the destruction happened. I will never, ever forget that horrible day! I was at my afterschool job at an attorney's office when it all happened. I remember listening to the radio, hearing that a tornado was nearing Huntsville, and then all the lights went out. The entire staff was huddled together in the little kitchen. We were terrified! Soon after the tornado had crossed through Huntsville and lifted off, we came out and listened to the radio announcer as he tried to describe what had happened. I remember watching a pregnant Liz Hurley on TV as they covered this awful event. My sister came to get me and take me home (we just hung onto each other and cried when she showed up!), and as we neared Airport Road we could not believe the destruction! We were turned away, and we ended up spending the night with a friend who lived in Five Points. The next morning driving to school was when I got my first look at the damage. This is what I saw:

I am still in amazement at this picture. I used to work at Golbro which was destroyed. One of the sweetest ladies I have ever known, Ms. Louise, was killed in the tornado, and I won't ever forget her. This storm is the reason I "freak out" whenever we have a tornado warning now. I just cannot believe it has been 20 years since that tragic day!

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