Victims begin to pick up the pieces after east Alabama tornadoes

Victims begin to pick up the pieces after east Alabama tornadoes
Many homes were damaged in Jacksonville. (Wynter Byrd / Alabama NewsCenter)

Victims of the March 19 tornadoes and storms in Alabama spent the day after assessing the damage and taking the first steps in picking up the pieces.

Roofs are off buildings and homes, and some homes are gone altogether. Even houses of worship didn’t escape the fury.

Extensive damage in parts of east Alabama after March 19 storms from Alabama NewsCenter on Vimeo.

Pastor Ronny Moore stared at the empty space through the middle of West Point Baptist Church in Jacksonville that was where the sanctuary had been.

“This church is scheduled to have a 100-year celebration on May 20,” Moore said. “We’re still going to have our celebration, just not in this building.”

As others assessed their own damage, Alabama Power was checking its infrastructure as crews worked to safely restore power as quickly as possible.

Making it difficult was the amount of damage to that infrastructure. At least one distribution line was knocked down by the storm, which requires special equipment and crews to replace. Along with the thousands of trees snapped by the storms, more than 300 power poles were taken down.

Just before 4 p.m., Alabama Power said 7,800 customers were without power with 4,700 in Calhoun County, 1,200 in Cleburne County, 1,200 in Etowah County and 650 in St. Clair County. At the height of the storms, more than 24,000 customers were affected.

Related Stories