During the last half of April, we had storms in Bloomington, and while they were overwhelming in many ways — flooded roads and gardens and basements — our rough spring weather was dwarfed in comparison with that in our hometown of Birmingham, Alabama. The news this morning puts the death toll at almost 350 across the South, with the vast majority in Alabama. We weep for the personal and material destruction in this latest Southern tragedy.
Below are four photos of the vast sprawl of destruction wrought by record-setting tornadoes in Alabama and other Southern states in the last week of an achingly beautiful April. These scenes, just north-northwest of Birmingham, were snapped by my sister as she and her daughter checked on family members who hadn’t been heard from after the storm. Fortunately, everyone was safe.
Ariel view of tornado devastation at Pleasant Grove, Alabama, west of Birmingham.
Update May 5, 2011. NASA’s Earth Observatory web site has before and after images posted for the area of northern Alabama centered on Tuscaloosa. You and actually see the paths of the major tornadoes etched into the landscape.