We left New Orleans about 2pm and headed northeast towards Birmingham AL. We were stopping in Bessemer which is between Tuscaloosa and Birmingham. Tuscaloosa was an area most hit by the recent tornadoes. Although we did not see any major damage, the remnants of the tornadoes can be seen everywhere. There were large swaths of trees blown down along the highway. One could see a patch of torn up trees a few hundred yards long, then no damage as if the tornado touched down and then took off. There were many trees uprooted and limbs broken off and many of the highway signs were blown over. Ironically, the weather is gorgeous now.
We met a couple of scruffy characters in the elevator and they told us they had come up from Gulf Shores to help cook for and feed the emergency workers. On TV there is a constant scroll with tips about donating, volunteering, insurance problems, how to report gouging and more useful information. There are many utility trucks other heavy duty trucks, like cranes, in the area to help with the recovery.
If anyone is interested, they can send a donation to the Red Cross or to the United Way Tornado Disaster Fund, PO Box 320189, Birmingham, AL 35232. Or check out www.alabamas13.com for other ways to help out.