On March 25th, a string of destructive tornadoes and storms struck numerous communities in the Birmingham metro area. A partial list of local cities and neighborhoods reporting damage include Pelham, Helena, Hoover, Indian Springs, the Roebuck neighborhood in Birmingham and adjacent residential and commercial areas.
Statewide, nearly two dozen tornado and flash flood warnings were issued by the U.S. National Weather Service Birmingham Office throughout the day. Five fatalities were reported in Calhoun County.
“Our hearts are heavy as we mourn the tragic loss of life due to today’s weather events. We’re working with officials to determine what people need right now and how we can meet those needs,” Annette Rowland, director of communications for the American Red Cross of Alabama.
Ways You Can Help
Local authorities and first responders are currently assessing the damage. As of the evening of March 25th, they are asking people to stay away from places impacted by the storms. Please no sightseeing. Many of these communities have downed power lines (Alabama Power reported over 24,000 outages as of late March 25th evening) and areas that need to be made safe before volunteers can go in to help.
How extensive is the damage? Here is a video by Kevin Henderson/SkyBama along Highway 119.
Meanwhile, people are coming together to help our neighbors and community. Below is an initial compilation of ways you can help.
American Red Cross of Alabama
For people displaced from their homes or sustained damage, call 1-800-RED CROSS for assistance.
Oak Mountain High School
Oak Mountain High School is serving as a collection and distribution center for basic needs for people in the Oak Mountain community on Friday, March 26 and Saturday, March 27. Items can be dropped off from 8 a.m. to noon on both days at the OMHS cafeteria, located near the back side of the school. Those who need items can pick them up from 1-5 p.m.on both days in the OMHS cafeteria.
Items that will be accepted include:
- Bottled water,
- Toiletries (shampoo, conditioner, soap, toothpaste, toothbrush, shaving cream, razors, feminine products)
- Blankets (good condition)
- Non-perishable food items (peanut butter or cheese crackers, nuts, granola bars, canned goods, juices, jelly, dried fruit, trail mix, crackers, peanut butter, bread)
- Gift cards.
Pelham Rec Center tornado relief drive
The city of Pelham has set up a tornado relief drop-off site at the Pelham Rec Center.
- trash bags
- cleaning supplies
- hygiene products
- feminine products
- hand sanitizer
- face masks
- diapers and wipes
- socks (multiple sizes)
- pillows and blankets
- baby formula
- pet food
- bottled water
- laundry detergent
The Pelham Rec Center is open from 7AM-8PM weekdays for donations.
Greater Birmingham Humane Society
Need help with your pets? Contact the Greater Birmingham Humane Society – they are available to assist. Contact them at https://gbhs.org
Relief Updates Coming
Stay tuned to Bham Now for additional tornado relief updates. In the coming days, we will publish ways you can help donate food and clothing to taking care of pets impacted by the storms. We will also inform you when the United Way of Central Alabama begins recovery efforts.
We can do this Birmingham.
Here are some inspirational words from Frank Hamby, President of the Roebuck Neighborhood in Birmingham.
“Immediately after the storm came through neighbors pulled together and started cleaning up and helping each other immediately. It’s one of the great things about our neighborhood – our neighbors. In times of trouble and crisis, they always seem to come together to help each other.”