Residents check on family in storm’s path

Published 2:54 pm Thursday, April 28, 2011

News of devastation caused by a line of tornadoes across the state have left many Brewton searching for answers about the safety of their loved ones.
Storms slashed through the state Wednesday leaving a trail of more than 150 deaths in its wake. Areas reporting the most severe damage include Tuscaloosa, Birmingham and Cullman.
Annette Crenshaw has family and friends in Tuscaloosa who escaped physically unharmed by the storm.
“I’m so thankful and so heartbroken,” Crenshaw said. “There are areas of Tuscaloosa that are unrecognizable. My family is safe and I’m thankful for that.”
Getting most of her information through Internet news sources, Crenshaw said familiar landmarks for the University of Alabama town are now memories.
“The Krispy Kreme is gone,” Crenshaw said. “So many of the buildings are now just rubble. It really breaks my heart to see how badly the city has suffered.”
Crenshaw’s sister, Sharon, is in Tuscaloosa without power or water, she said.
“She doesn’t have power or water and has no idea when she’ll get it back,” Crenshaw said. “She only has a radio to hear what’s going on and I don’t think she really knows just how terrible this really is.”
In Cullman, churches, homes and businesses all suffered from the storm as it ripped through the area Wednesday.
Sheri Davenport has family who still reside in Cullman and even has a cousin that works in Tuscaloosa. Her family, although safe and sound, will suffer as a result of the storm.
“My mother and dad and sister are all OK,” Davenport said. “But, right now they are without power and probably will be for a while. They don’t have generators ready to do like we do down here for hurricanes. Because of that, they can’t get any gasoline so they’re stuck. It’s about 45 minutes to the next town to even get gas. If they had a generator they wouldn’t be able to get gas for it right now. It’s just a mess.”
Davenport’s cousin is a minister for a Baptist church in Tuscaloosa that is an outreach of a church in Cullman.
“He was in Tuscaloosa when the storm hit,” Davenport said. “They were busy handing out blankets and towels last night after the storm moved through. This morning they were working to feed people breakfast in town.”