I have never seen devastation like this. It is heartbreaking. This is something I don’t think anyone has seen before.President Barack Obama • Discussing his reaction to the damage in Tuscaloosa. The president, flanked by Michelle Obama and Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley. The storms have killed at least 310 — 210 in Alabama alone — and left hundreds injured, along with tearing up a huge chunk of a number of towns across the South, especially in Tuscaloosa. “We can’t bring those who’ve been lost back,” he said. “They’re alongside God at this point … but the property damage, which is obviously extensive, that’s something we can do something about.” For their sake, let’s hope so. source (via • follow)
Actually, I was zoomed out to try to get the whole tornado, and I still couldn’t catch it, the whole thing. I mean, we were probably maybe 200 to 300 yards away from it.University of Alabama employee Christopher England • Describing how he was able to get this video — you know the one, the one with the heavy breathing. England, speaking from one of the now-greatly-damaged areas he filmed, was in one of the strongest, safest buildings in the entire region — Coleman Coliseum, the campus’ men’s basketball complex — while filming the clip. England filmed for a minute and a half before things got too dangerous and he fleed for safety. Speaking of being near the destruction, he noted: ”It’s kind of surreal to be down here now and kind of seeing it, because this is the first time I’ve seen it.” source (via • follow)
» An unprecedented toll: In Alabama in particular, where Tuscaloosa took incredibly strong damage from the storm and many died in Birmingham, officials were still trying to wrap their heads around the disaster. “I would be pretty sure about saying we’ve never had 128 people die in one day,” said Yasamie August, the Alabama Emergency Management Agency’s information manager. (The number’s jumped since she spoke.) “It’s going to be difficult to get an accurate count of damage or injuries at this point. Many people can’t get to a hospital.”
Tuscaloosa tornado raw video: This eight-minute clip, shot by Alabama weather enthusiast Mike Wilhelm, follows the storm for an extended period. “We were just east of the McFarland Boulevard Exit on I 20-59,” he writes. In other news, Obama just signed a state of emergency declaration in Alabama.
Tuscaloosa tornado in action: Today in videos which scare the crap out of us, this. The breathing on the clip only adds to the tension of what’s getting pulled through the lens. We could not imagine.