Algebra makes me nervous. Letters mixed with numbers doesn’t seem right to me. I’m not the norm in my town of Huntsville, Alabama -one of the top three cities for science, math and tech grads. Yet, I walk amongst them.
Some letter/number combinations are daunting to even the most precise engineer, however. Combos like F4 and F5 strike a different chord, no matter your walk of life in this town. Home of both NASA and the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command, ironically, Huntsville is also targeted as the most tornado-damaged city in the nation.
On this day five years ago, we saw some of the worst devastation on April 27, 2011 from not one, but several invasive tornadoes. One formidable F5 traveled on the ground for over 90 miles to wreak its havoc. But you should see our city now. The land is recovering and beauty has been restored. A wasteland is now a park. We have more shelters, more warning systems, better awareness, which translates to future lives saved.
We are proud, yet humble. Proud of where we are now, compared to then. And humble for what the future holds for us in terms of tornado activity. We keep building and keep hope alive. God bless those who lost what can’t be rebuilt or restored. May your hope be renewed too.
You can read our stories here in Tornado Valley: Huntsville’s Havoc .