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14 hours in Hell, 4 days to Home

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posted on May, 2 2011 @ 07:31 PM
There is nothing anyone can post that can possibly help you and your family more than those around you who care and, who you care about. Just know that we are with you, We who value our families more than ourselves, who were raised and taught to protect our own, to sacrafice, so that their lives are secure and better than our own. You are one of us. We offer a prayer and a hope that in your place we could stand tall as you have when the time comes. It comes for all of us. God bless my friend.

posted on May, 2 2011 @ 07:50 PM

You are a testament to everything that has made this country what it is...

I know of no greater compliment or comment on what I have read here as it has left me in awe...

Somewhere the Founding Fathers are looking down on you and they are proud...


posted on May, 2 2011 @ 09:13 PM
That was one of the best and most informative threads that I have ever come across ATS. First I am very happy to know that you are alive with family and living to tell your experience.

It was almost like living after a major catastrophe. I have always been concerned about what will life be like without the basics, electricity and water. Everything we live on right now is dependent upon it. That is the reason why I have been spending all my spare time on reading about electricity and motors and ways of producing electricity from scrap. If some global earth changing event were to occur, we will be all to ourselves. With no electricity and internet I am sure that many will not survive. I am trying to be prepared with what my DIY skills will allow me.

Your thread was an eye-opener in the real world scenario. I have learned a lot from your experience. Thanks a Million for the post. God Bless.

The best we can do in the present scenario is share whatever knowledge we have so that others can benefit.

posted on May, 2 2011 @ 09:30 PM
reply to post by TheRedneck

I'm glad that you and yours made it through. I am humbled by the devastation of those towns. Here in Texas, we are rather used to tornados. I guess its like New Orleans and the huricanes. Familiarity breeds contempt.

I will not be so flippant about them again. With entire towns missing, bathrooms and closets are not as "bullet proof" as I've always considered them.

You have proven two things here.

1. A country boy WILL survive.
2. Rednecks (as I consider myself also), can be as educated as anyone....regardless of stereotypes.

I would say God bless you and yours but its obvious. He has.

good luck to your boy.

posted on May, 2 2011 @ 10:01 PM
reply to post by TheRedneck

Thank you for a very interesting read. Good luck in your recovery efforts... and God Bless.

posted on May, 3 2011 @ 12:31 AM
Well, it's been a long day. I cleared the yard behind my mother's house of the limb that fell across the rabbit hutch, powered the equipment in the shop back up, touched base with some friends online, and found out I have school tomorrow. The college has power.

My apologies to everyone I haven't given a direct reply to... I think the busiest time is that transition between disaster and normality. The disaster requires time to clean up, and normality expects things to operate as normal. Worst case I should be back Wednesday, with an update on the conditions around Rainsville. It will be my first trip up the mountain since the storms.

It will also be interesting to observe the reactions of the other students. I wonder how the younger generation is handling this.


posted on May, 3 2011 @ 12:38 AM
reply to post by TheRedneck

Almost sounds like a summary of Hurricane Katrina. Sorry you had to go through that man; glad to hear you're alright!

We were also lucky in our situation; our house was untouched, both by water and flying projectiles or trees.

The power was out for a month, and that sucked, but it brought our family closer than ever.

Keep it real, Brother.

posted on May, 3 2011 @ 01:10 AM
What I really like about your story is that you and your family are all okay.

Those storms which ripped through your state were vicious. I recall watching it on the Weather Channel as that EF4 tornado tore through the suburbs of Birmingham, knowing full well that there were people dying as I watched. This was at a same time we here at my home were worrying about a forest fire which was out of control blowing massive smoke clouds up into the air.

What your story really reminded me of however was the 2004 Hurricane season when us here in Florida were ravaged by 3 consecutive hurricanes in less than 50 day period of time. Hurricane Frances was by far the worst, we were without electricity for a good 8 days. 4 days of having that hurricane just drift slowly over us. Tornadoes dropping everywhere, trees breaking and falling over, flooded roads, and bent signs out on the streets.

Luckily the storm had winds of only about 60-70mph as it moved over our area so we decided to stick it out in our trailer. I seen a large funnel cloud move right overhead, all the trees were moving in odd directions, the fence in our back yard was almost flat on the ground. All of the skirting was ripped off and thrown throughout the yard and into the palm fronds.

Clean water was scarce as was ice. Gasoline was also almost impossible to find for two weeks. It was so hot and humid here yet we had no air conditioning so we resorted to just opening all the doors and windows which invited in the swarms of gnats and mosquitoes to feed on us. We rationed that bug repellent because we had no idea when the electricity would be back on.

You cannot go a week without showering so we resorted to using the water from our pool and a small bucket with soap and shampoo. The neighbors also needed to use our pool water so being neighborly they were invited to whatever they needed. Since all of us use well water and there was no electricity, like you, we had no access to safe water.

Water moccasins were swimming in our yard and a neighbor down the trail told us he had seen an alligator in the water up at his front porch. No one wanted to even go outside because you ran the risk of encountering a snake or alligator and if neither of them hook worm was all around. Me and my sister both got hook worm after the storm had ended and I never went outside without shoes on. That was one of the most painful things I had felt and the medicine for it is God awful.

But in the end I... we, are just glad that you and your family are safe.

posted on May, 3 2011 @ 08:49 AM
Glad you are well it has been a trying past few days. Your post sounds way to familiar, I'm taking today (maybe) from clearing trees and debri. Thursday morning the task looked almost impossible but it's beginning to look a little better now. So many people have volunteered clearing trees, covering roofs, giving out food and water that it touches your heart when you see it in action. We had a group from Japan in our area that was helping. I've seen more people cry the past few days than in a long time, not from despair but from the kindness of others helping them. Total strangers wanting to help in any way they can.

As the cell towers went down or the network was overloaded by everyone calling at the same time, cell service was almost useless. Power was off and we couldn't communicate via internet. I was talking with my son as one of the tornadoes was heading for Tuscaloosa and told him to head for cover. The storm was way too close and I told him to contact me as soon as he could. I was watching it on tv and knew it was going to be bad. It went through Tuscaloosa and was speeding up and coming our direction. The next few hours were terrible, we lost contact with one another. One of his roomates finally got a signal and sent out a message that they were okay. Our family came through this unharmed but many people didn't. It will be a long time before we gain some normalcy in the great state of Alabama. Hug your wife or husband and kids a little harder today and tell them you love them. You never know when storms are coming in your life.

posted on May, 3 2011 @ 11:22 AM
reply to post by TheRedneck

Redneck glad you and the family are OK, and hope things get better for you all. .

If possible I'd like to hear what you students, the younger generation, have to say about their experiences if they don't mind having them repeated.

It also shows as you have proved that by being knowledgeable and resourceful one can survive. And being prepared isn't just about being able to survive 2012. And has been said, a country boy will survive.

A good motto for all of us is "adapt, react, overcome"

As me Aussie/NZ mate say's "Good on ya mate".

posted on May, 3 2011 @ 12:10 PM
Hi. Thank you for taking time to tell your experience with such detail. Those first hours must have been terrifying. I probably would have jumped in the well. I have nowhere to go in my home, except a hallway closet. I've equipped it recently with battery operated stuff, and the dog's leashes, however, with that particular tornado, if it hit your home, it didn't much matter where you were, unless you were underground.

I'm so happy to hear you are all well, and the pets, too. (Oh, and thank God nothing happened to that shop!)

My best.


posted on May, 3 2011 @ 08:01 PM
Al Gore is a good Christian man who used to teach Sunday school. His introduction to Global Warming was through a gentleman who was the lead scientist with Shell Petroleum who had been asked by Shell to do a 10 year study on this - as there were suspicions with scientists within Shell and other petroleum companies that man-made hydrocarbon emissions may cause a gradual heating of the earth.

Well what this gentleman and others discovered was pretty good evidence that this was happening. His contract with Shell said he could not release the findings of the study for 15 years. Al Gore read that study when in College and the Shell scientist was by this time teaching at the College Al went to. He didn't 'discover' climate change. Actually the petroleum companies did first. Al Gore just brought it to the attention of the world at large. And they have excoriated him ever since. The truly sad thing is that these companies know what is going on- just as TEPCO in Japan does. Just as the Nuclear industry does- and goes after people who try to bring what is really happening to light.

Some people use God's promise to not destroy the earth again as an excuse to pollute at will and deny climate change. Everyone knows that.

But few people seem to know the bookend chapter to that promise:

Revelation 11:18 : The nations were angry; and your wrath has come. The time has come for judging the dead, and for rewarding your servants the prophets and your saints and those who reverence your name, both small and great--and for destroying those who destroy the earth."

You see, He knows that humans would eventually bring so much devastation to the Earth that we will destroy it. That passage is a warning. I can't think of anything that could destroy the Earth - the entire Earth- outside the devastation of Climate Change. I bet Al the Sunday school teacher is well aware of that passage too, and I bet he thought of it when reading that first study.

posted on May, 3 2011 @ 08:19 PM
Wow! Happy you and family - including fuzzy ones are OK.

Where I live in the desert - - we lose power all the time. It does make you very aware of how vulnerable you are.

Classic Country. Current faves: Shaver and John Anderson. Sux what's happened to Country Music.

posted on May, 3 2011 @ 08:27 PM
reply to post by TheRedneck

Glad to hear you are safe.....we ended up driving through some of the damage on our way back up to Michigan from Florida. You could see the path the tornadoes took.... I saw some HUGE trees just ripped out at the roots, would have took a tremendous force to topple those trees. I also saw the local communities coming together to support those family's in need, gave me some hope for our country.

Hopefully the floods won't be bad.

posted on May, 3 2011 @ 08:51 PM
reply to post by president

I am trying to get a decent shot of it, but the thing is so tall I haven't found a good angle to get it all from. I'll try to post a pic of it if I can get a good one.


reply to post by xSeraphim

Imagine an entire planet without power.Take away the police,the power,the water,the food and civilization as we know it will disappear.

The cities would crumble first; I have said that for a long time and now I have proof.

One of my instructors (C++ Programming) lives in Huntsville, the closest large city in Alabama. He told me today that his power only came back yesterday. Until then there were no stores, no gas stations, no groceries to buy, People were totally unprepared, and there were shootings, knifings, and fights over fuel and food. Here, in the country, one guy with a generator ran it at the gas station beside his house to supply fuel to residents. Churches across the county were working all day, day after day, even until now, to provide free hot food for anyone who was hungry, and radio stations ceased programming to air continuous reports of where to get these meals, where gasoline was available, which grocery or convenience stores were open and for how long.


reply to post by zorgon

A question about water wells... how come no one does like the old Pioneers used to do? No electricity required

A couple of reasons: those hand pumps only work to a certain depth, which is less than most wells we have today. Mine, for example, is a little over 100' deep. Also, they take a lot of a resource that is becoming scarce today... elbow grease.

A neighbor of mine who has a shallower well actually hooked up a bucket and drew water out of it for himself and a few neighbors. Mine is too narrow to allow that, and probably too deep to be practical for that.


reply to post by Indecent

Living on the side of a mountain, I don't have many concerns about flooding here. The Paint Rock River did crest above flood stage though. Luckily, very few people live in that flood plain. It's mostly deer, 'coons, and wild boars.


posted on May, 3 2011 @ 09:52 PM
reply to post by drngopal

It was almost like living after a major catastrophe. I have always been concerned about what will life be like without the basics, electricity and water.

With one major caveat: I knew electricity would be back. I only had to get by until then.

If we were to lose all ability to provide electricity at this stage of societal development, all the modern appliances and conveniences we have become used to would disappear. Just think about no hot water... no running water. No more showers, and baths are lukewarm at best. Think about laundry... no more washing machines. Instead, washing a shirt means rubbing it over a rough surface and frequent rinsing by hand.

Nights are completely different without power. It is normally dark out here, but there are scattered outside lights and the distant glow from the nearby towns. Even on the cloudiest night, the eyes can adjust to see where you are going. But take away those scattered lights and the cloudy nights become pitch black and unnavigable. Man becomes again a daytime only animal, incapable of surviving the darkness.

Food itself becomes a totally new concept. Perishable means eat it now or lose it; all refrigeration is based on the electric motor. Ice becomes a luxury, a rare commodity. Prepackaging is a historic fad. Cooking no longer is at the turn of a knob or press of a button; it is through hydrocarbon gas if you're lucky, or cutting, storing, and burning firewood if you're not. Just preparing a meal can take all day.

Forget cars. They need gasoline, distributed via electrically-operated pumps. Transportation is via foot or animal power. That means forget transportation as we know it. If you can't make it locally, you don't get it. People will, as in days of yore, be born, live, and die within miles of the same place.

Someone is going to say in response that we can always use generators, or solar cells, or windmills. But those things do not come close to being able to supply a bare fraction of what power we consider to be minimal. The average house uses 240VAC at an average current of more than 15 Amps. That's 3600 watts continuous power averaged over night, day, winter, and summer, for a small efficient home. A typical solar cell produces less than a watt and that only during daylight hours. A windmill is little better. Generators use gasoline or diesel fuel, and are tremendously expensive to run for extended periods, not to mention being noisy. None of these are practical in the long term.


reply to post by ladyinwaiting

The first few hours were more awe-inspiring than scary, for me anyway. As felonius mentioned above, our familiarity with the mini-Al-Gores makes them seem less dangerous and our technological prowess in tracking and predicting gives us an illusion of control over the uncontrollable. But when I couldn't see what was coming after losing power, when I had to make guesses based on cloud patterns that were changing every time I looked, it became a nightmare. The uncertainty made it worse by orders of magnitude.


reply to post by Stratus9

Sorry, no. Al Gore Jr. is as honest as Al Gore Sr. (his father, also a TN Senator), who was renowned for being a crooked self-serving politician. He may have been a Sunday School teacher; I have known drunks, thieves, and even child molesters who taught Sunday School also.

We are destroying the Earth, but it is not through some colorless, odorless trace gas. It is through actual pollution, litter, and abuse of people to the point that they can no longer survive on what the Earth offers. CO2 is just a convenient bogeyman.


reply to post by Annee

People in an area typically adapt their customs to fit with the area they live in. Unfortunately, here electricity is taken for granted since it is never off for more than a few hours... until now. From talking with students and faculty today, there are still some areas that do not have electricity restored even yet.

WUUQ 97.3 out of Chattanooga plays the seriously old stuff... Horton, Cash, Tex Ritter, Paycheck. Saturday mornings they even have a 100% bluegrass lineup. I also like their ads: "If you remember when cruise control was the police on Brainerd Road, you're one of us"... "If you know what "reckon" means and how much a "tad" is, you're one of us".


posted on May, 3 2011 @ 10:22 PM
And now,as promised, an update:

We lost power again this morning, but for only a few hours. I am hoping it was so they could restore my friend's power down the road. I know his transformer was having problems and probably was going to be replaced.

Rumor has it that Widows Creek Steam Plant, which took a direct hit, is back up and operating somehow.

I had to run out to the shop this morning and I checked my new canopy. There is not a single wilted leaf on that hickory tree. The darn thing is alive! Considering how well it lodged in other treetops and the fact that there is apparently enough wood holding it to the original trunk to keep it alive at the top, I am considering leaving it where it is; it is actually a living rafter that instead of endangering my shop could be further protecting it!

Scottsboro is back to normal, with the only exception that perishable foods are slowly returning to their present stock levels. People apparently lost a lot of food and are trying to replace it. We already made a run earlier for basic survival foods, so we can wait a few days to let things stabilize before going back.

En route to the college, the first damage I saw was going up the mountain: large areas of trees were destroyed. Once atop the mountain, in Section, I saw many old massive trees uprooted or splintered into kindling. One grove of trees was devastated, with all the trees lying pointing away from the center of the grove. That had to have been a massive downdraft to create that effect.

The damage got worse as I approached Rainsville. One trailer had a tree lying across it. One trailer court had tarps over every roof it seemed. I saw buildings with walls missing, and entire tracts of land leveled. The college got off lucky: they lost some antennas and three huge trees in front. There was also a little sign damage.

Some of the other students are from Rainsville, and they told me about watching the tornado as it tore through areas less than a mile away. Entire sections are devastated, and power is still out in some areas. Fort Payne apparently also has a lack of power. All of DeKalb County is still under a dusk-to-dawn curfew, and that curfew specifically states that having to be at work is not a valid excuse. Jail time for violations is possible.

Madison County also is under a similar curfew. My C++ instructor actually drove to the college last Wednesday from Huntsville. He left just before they announced the closing. On his return trip, he said the car in front of him was literally flipped over by the winds. He just got power back yesterday.

The 'kids' (younger than 30) were scared. They were more worried about their cell service going out than their power, though, which amazed me. "Did you get any damage?" was the most oft-asked question. One guy in my Accounting class told me he was tired from 5 days of cutting trees out of neighbors houses. Another told about a neighbor's son who ventured out to check on his parents... and returned to find rubble where his house had stood.

Another instructor said, "I wouldn't live anywhere but here. While other people are looting and killing, people here are helping each other to rebuild their lives."

Most of those in DeKalb County got power back well after we did. A few were conspicuously absent; I hope they are OK.

My spring semester is now over. They were able to delay the semester through Thursday, but most of the instructors either had nothing to do on that last day or didn't have time to start a new subject. All four of my classes have made Thursday optional. Finals have been delayed, and all students given the option of taking a final exam to improve their grade or skipping finals with no penalty. I have an 'A' in all my classes, so I will obviously be skipping finals.

I have more important things to do at the moment. People are still hurting.


posted on May, 3 2011 @ 10:31 PM
Hi Redneck --- Thank you for your thoughtful account of the storm and aftermath. Your dedication to family and friends as well as your resourcefulness are to be commended. I am glad to read your family and critters are geting back to "normal".

posted on May, 3 2011 @ 10:34 PM

Originally posted by TheRedneck
WUUQ 97.3 out of Chattanooga plays the seriously old stuff... Horton, Cash, Tex Ritter, Paycheck. Saturday mornings they even have a 100% bluegrass lineup. I also like their ads: "If you remember when cruise control was the police on Brainerd Road, you're one of us"... "If you know what "reckon" means and how much a "tad" is, you're one of us".


I know - - off topic.

But lucky you. I still have my Horton albums and several Cash albums. REAL Country is so awesome. I hate the phrase: "Too country for country". Sucks that Marty Brown fell into that category.

I also love Electronica - - its all about Sound. But to appreciate REAL Country - - that's where its at.

I can't even get back on topic after that

posted on May, 3 2011 @ 10:42 PM
reply to post by TheRedneck

So glad you are back Redneck and what a tale you had to tell! I imagine it's not finished yet, and who knows the way the weather is going, it's probably just the beginning. Glad you and yours are safe though, and your story transported me right there - I hope you know how many hearts you have touched by sharing this, thank you.

You know that you and I are going to continue to disagree on this solar issue, but it's a disagreement I'm happy to have. I have utmost respect for your opinions on the matter and what you offer to the Nuke thread, we miss you over there and hope you'll have time to join us again soon...

Several examples of Zero Energy homes!

One another note, my father was a "jack of all trades" and firmly believed that to "be human" required some basic skills. How to make a fire, build your own shelter, catch and cook your own food. He taught, even us girls, how to do these basic things and you know, I've never felt "helpless". It would be a huge hardship (not in the least desirable), but for these reasons I've always had basic survival supplies on hand. But, ask me to wire up anything electrical though and I get nervous, magical currents make me scared!
edit on 3-5-2011 by Wertwog because: (no reason given)

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