The Alberta City Fire Station. Photo by Wayne Grayson
In Alabama, the official death toll stands now at 254. Tuscaloosa got a sliver of good news last night when Mayor Walt Maddox said the 45 dead reported in that city had been revised down to 39. But the assessment of the loss of life is still ongoing today.
Now comes the really tough part for us who have been watching all this transpire. The services for those killed in the storms will begin this weekend. Before now our thoughts and prayers were for everyone affected in a general sense, now we are beginning to learn the names, faces and stories of those who lost their lives this week.
Today, the relief efforts will continue full speed. For folks who want to help out in some way, either as a volunteer or by donations simply go to The Disaster Relief for Alabama website made available through the UA School of Library and Information Studies. It has everything you'll need to know to get the answers to your questions. Seriously. It's really and amazing effort.
Currently, across the state, more than 2,000 members of the Alabama National Guard have been deployed with 837 in Tuscaloosa alone. In addition, 142 members of state and regional law enforcement teams have been sent to assist local agencies handling regular duties in the worst affected areas.
The reason we post this is because there have been a few ludicrous, but frightening, rumors floating around the internet. No, there aren't marauding gangs traipsing through the ruins murdering and raping people. Most of these are just old urban myths dressed up to fit this disaster. There has been some looting but, honestly, the reports have been surprisingly limited. If a story seems too incredible to be true - even in a time like this - it likely is.
Once again, we'll be tweeting information throughout the day and posting updates in the comments. We welcome you to join in and let us know your stories from the past few days - both good and bad. There a lot of folks that read Roll Bama Roll far beyond the borders of Alabama who would love to hear what you have to say.