Sunday, May 01, 2011

A look around at news from Alabama

South Struggles to Assess Toll -
"Federal officials visited Birmingham Sunday to view the beginnings of a storm cleanup and rebuilding effort. 'I don't think words can fairly express the level of devastation here,' said Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, touring the devastated area of Pratt City, a mostly black working-class neighborhood that was hard hit by the tornado.

Finding housing for the thousands of newly homeless throughout the Southeast 'will be the single most critical part of the recovery,' said Shaun Donovan, who heads the Department of Housing and Urban Development. About 700 families remained in shelters across Alabama on Sunday, but 'we know that there are hundreds and hundreds more who are with relatives' who will soon swell the ranks of those who need long-term living arrangements, Mr. Donovan said.
Scary piece on the scope of injuries from CNN (see also the video)
But like nearly every doctor in Tuscaloosa, orthopedic surgeon Brian Claytor didn't need his beeper to tell him to head to the trauma center.
Claytor said he didn't know what to expect when he arrived at DCH Regional Medical Center on Wednesday.
"The emergency room was just overflowing," said Claytor, 38. "I was just in shock when I walked in to see the sheer volume of injured people and the severity of the injuries."
Patients filled the hallway and every available room. Injuries ranged from minor cuts, lacerations and broken ankles to severe trauma from debris that sliced patients' heads, chests and abdomens." continues to amaze me with their coverage (mark it down now, they will win a Pulitzer). In this article they point out the importance of volunteers:
"ARAB, Alabama - Governor Robert Bentley said Sunday that Alabama is a Level 1 disaster area comparable to Katrina and the World Trade Center after 9/11.

Touring storm damage near Arab Sunday, Bentley praised the state's volunteer spirit and said even more volunteers are needed in the days and weeks ahead. Call "211" to volunteer, or sign up for Madison County duty beginning today at the First Baptist Church on Governors Drive."
WTOK reminds us that many schools are helping: (Psst...we're coming too ;) )

"Dearman says she got the idea when she learned of a group of Auburn alumni offering aid to tornado victims in the area.
Other student groups have pledged support to Tuscaloosa, including students at Mississippi State, LSU, South Carolina, and even Penn State."
WDAM tells us the same about students at Alabama:
"Students from the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, AL, are working together to help pick up the pieces following this week's devastating tornadoes.
With nearly 12,000 pounds of food and more than 100 volunteers, the University Greek Relief fund started Wednesday night when a few students saw a need and a came up with a simple plan to help: a hot meal."
Update:  this from the Los Angeles times is amazing!  Before and after "slider" shots

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