Introduction, page 5
April 27, 2011, Tuscaloosa, Alabama, Forest Lake neighborhood
At this point, I knew the storm was a bad one, but could not have guessed just how bad, until daylight came and I saw it with my own eyes. Over the following days, months, and years, I saw things I could not have dreamed or imagined could happen in real life. My story is relatively simple – there are people who were flying around in their bathtubs, for God’s sake. Hundreds of people died. Thousands lost everything. Entire neighborhoods are gone. Almost everybody has a story more terrifying than monsters and nightmares, because these stories are real. But I also saw an entire city rise up together. I made a lot of friends. I learned a lot of valuable lessons.
And, I took a lot of photos.
Over 10,000 in the first year after. I lived in the rubble of Forest Lake the whole time, and I saw everything. I took photos of everything.
This page is the introduction to my chronicle of life in the disaster (and later, recovery) zone. Here’s a sample gallery, one photo a day from the last 4 days of April and each day of May:
Forest Lake Drive apocalypse, Tuscaloosa Alabama, 5:16 PM April 27, 2011
My ‘looters will be shot’ sign. It’s funny because in Alabama everybody assumes everybody owns a gun, so you don’t have to actually have one. April 29, 2011.
Flipped car next to unflipped car, April 30 2011
Danny Crenshaw, May 1, 2011.
The guy who chainsawed the giant tree off the Honda in front of my house. May 2, 2011.
A double rainbow over Forest Lake neighborhood rubble, May 3, 2011.
A board stuck in a stone wall. This was the day I met the Parsons.
Military dudes (and my dog!) ready to back up my ‘looters will be shot’ sign. May 5, 2011.
Water, food, and tarps. May 6, 2011.
After curfew in the zone, the military patrolled in Hummers equipped with IR. May 7, 2011.
Looking out my bedroom window. May 8, 2011.
A snapped power pole lodged in a tree. May 9, 2011.
The view from my back porch. May 10, 2011.
A destroyed MG Midget on the sidewalk. May 11, 2011.
“We Are Coming Back” signs appeared around Forest Lake. May 12, 2011.
House on Forest Lake. May 13, 2011.
The house that burned on April 29. May 14, 2011.
Just…gone. May 15, 2011.
Be prepared to stop. May 16, 2011
Solar powered fairy lights and a fire. Home sweet tornadoed home. May 17, 2011.
This house got blown off the foundation and had the roof torn away. May 18, 2011
Forest Lake Drive, lined with debris. May 19, 2011.
Roll Tide. May 21, 2011.
I always liked this house. May 22, 2011.
covering the house across the street with a tarp. May 23, 2011.
Root balls. May 24, 2011.
Somebody’s kitchen. May 25, 2011.
The forest was twisted right off at Forest Lake. May 26, 2011.
A collapsed garage. May 27, 2011.
One eye open, one eye closed. May 29 2011.
Pretty nice sunset. May 31, 2011.
So, here comes the story…
Disaster Life home page
My Tornado Diary, Intro
My Tornado Diary Chapter 1
DrT phonetography home