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General News    H3'ed 4/28/11

Riding the Storms Out On A Frightful Day in Alabama

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Message Roger Shuler

Cross Posted at Legal Schnauzer

We have plenty to write this morning about justice issues, our usual area of focus here at Legal Schnauzer. But we don't have the heart for that subject today, just hours after at least 63 people were killed and untold numbers of homes were damaged or destroyed by the tornadoes that ripped through Alabama yesterday.

I am thankful to be able to report that Mrs. Schnauzer and I--and our Tonks, Baxter and Chloe--are fine. We've had relatively minor property damage from storms several times in the 20-plus years we've lived in our home. But we somehow managed to not have any damage yesterday, even though it probably was the worst string of tornadoes to hit our area in 30 to 50 years.

We live in Shelby County, about 15 miles from downtown Birmingham. One twister passed through Alabaster, about 10 miles to our south. There was devastation in parts of North Birmingham and west Jefferson County, especially in the areas of Smithfield, Hueytown, and Concord. Tuscaloosa, home to the University of Alabama, and Cullman also were heavily hit.

Damage assessments are ongoing, so it's hard to know how yesterday's destruction compares to that from previous tornado outbreaks. But it clearly was a storm of historic proportions. Why were we spared? Did The Big Meteorologist in the Sky, knowing that we have been enduring legal storms for 10-plus years, decide to give us a pass on this one?

I don't have the answer to such cosmic questions. I just know that we have hugely mixed feelings--thankful to have gone unscathed, while sharing the pain of many Alabamians who were not so fortunate.

Even members of our "household" who don't live in our house seem to be fine. A mother robin has taken a liking to the underside of our deck as a nesting place for the past two springs. We watched in fascination  last April as three of her charges left the nest, hit the ground and safely entered the world of flight--as we kept an eye out for any cats or other intruders that might cause problems.

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I live in Birmingham, Alabama, and work in higher education. I became interested in justice-related issues after experiencing gross judicial corruption in Alabama state courts. This corruption has a strong political component. The corrupt judges are (more...)
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