First responders, neighbors do their part

Published 4:28 am Thursday, April 1, 2021

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As of Friday morning, March 26, the day after two tornadoes ravaged areas of Shelby County, there were no reported deaths in Shelby County.

That is remarkable news considering the damage that so many suffered during a catastrophic day for the county.

Several homes had severe damage, some even flattened and debris was spread throughout areas of Calera, Columbiana, Helena, Indian Springs Village, Eagle Point, Heardmont Park, Greystone, Wilsonville and other portions of north and south Shelby County.

But thanks to the rapid and tireless effort of first responders, neighbors and others in each of those communities, people were rescued from trapped homes and accounted for before beginning the cleanup process.

There were a few injuries, but the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office had reported no deaths during its latest update, something so many were grateful for despite the loss.

But without quick response from neighbors calling 9-1-1 and the rapid reaction from first responders, that might not have been the case.

One couple in the neighborhood of Eagle Point recalled the tornado lasting five seconds and sounding like a freight train.

They immediately headed upstairs following the storm and the wife told her husband to call 9-1-1 immediately.

Their house suffered minor damage to the back side, but the houses next door and across the street had their upstairs destroyed and one house just behind the one across the street from theirs was flattened.

Despite being shaken up, they called emergency personnel, who was quick to respond.

That was the case across the county as firefighters, police officers and other emergency workers walked and drove up and down every street immediately after the storm passed to help anyone in need.

Neighbors were also walking around with chainsaws and shovels offering to help those in damaged areas.

The tireless effort of so many didn’t go unrecognized and helped many know their community stands behind them during one of the most difficult times of their lives.

It’s hard to say thank you enough to those who swiftly jumped into action to help others, but without their courage, Thursday, March 25, could have had a different outcome.