Wednesday, November 16, 2011

From a Day of Devastation ...

Having lived my entire life in Alabama, I have experienced many days of bad weather, but Wednesday April 27, 2011 was different. All of the schools had delayed opening due to the expected bad weather. I arrived at work around 8 am CDT as usual. You could tell something was brewing, it was just a little too warm for the end of April in North Alabama. We were under a tornado watch, you only had to walk outside to feel something was up.

That Wednesday will be forever in the memories of everyone in our state and area. April 27, 2011 will be forever known for being among the most prolific and destructive tornado days in the U.S, history. . Four of the tornadoes were destructive enough to be rated EF5 on the Enhanced Fujita Scale, which is the highest ranking possible; typically these tornadoes are only recorded about once each year or less. 

This is a photograph taken about 6 miles from our showroom.

Anderson Hills Storm Damage

The material you see lying in the foreground of the picture was a brick fence, roughly 6 feet tall,  that separated  the subdivision from the main highway. 

To see more, here are the rest of the photos from this particular subdivision. What is really scary is this same subdivision was hit by another huge tornado  and destroyed in the mid 90s.

"A widespread complex of supercell storms overspread the states of Mississippi and Alabama and violent tornadoes began rapidly touching down as the evening progressed. Four tornadoes were officially rated as EF5 on the Enhanced Fujita Scale that day. These tornadoes impacted several counties in the states of Mississippi and Alabama, especially the towns of Smithville, Mississippi; Hackleburg and Phil Campbell, Alabama; Philadelphia, Mississippi; and Rainsville, Alabama. This marks only the second day in history (the other being the April 3, 1974 Super Outbreak) that there were three or more EF5 or F5 tornadoes."

By the way, I was smack in the middle of the tornadoes of the Super Outbreak! I was a sophomore in high school and have vivid memories of that night, as well.  If you are interested, you can read the rest of this article and more here:,_2011_tornado_outbreak

Now onto the reason for all of this information. It is now mid November, almost 7 months later and there is still a lot to be done. I have been working on a couple of tornado related remodels. The first one has just been completed. My part was to supply new cabinets to go into the footprint of the existing cabinets. Below is a before picture.

You really can't see the extent of the damage other than a water spot on the ceiling. The roof was damaged over the kitchen and breakfast area, ceiling, cabinets, walls, floors, subfloor and everything was wet. 

After meeting with the builder and homeowners and deciding what kind of cabinets they wanted to go with and what their budget was, I came up with 2020 drawings and pricing. We ordered the cabinets from Integrity Cabinets, LLC, an Alabama company. Below is the finished project. 

I was there on Tuesday afternoon to do this photograph. The homeowners are very happy and expressed their gratitude for my help in helping them to have a beautiful new, functional kitchen. That is one of the reasons I love what I do. At times I can help people take a traumatic event and help them get something beautiful to help build better memories. 

None of will ever forget what all went on April 27, 2011 and the following days, but I am able to help people put their lives back together and go on. 

This is just a small sample of what I do. I will be doing more posts and showing you more examples of my work in the future as well as more about me.

Thank you for letting me share this with all of you.


  1. I see why your clients are so happy....besides having some normalcy return to their lives. Love that you put drawers on either side of the stove rather than the cabinets. Light, cheery ....only thing missing is a fabulous tile backsplash!!

  2. Thank you Cyra. I always put drawers on either side of the stove, in fact I utilize drawers everywhere I can. They are the most economical use of your space and the easiest to access. I agree, he needs some of your gorgeous tile to finish it off!

  3. Wow! I had no idea that the storms this summer were so historic or devastating. I think I read yesterday, "Today's disaster can turn into tomorrow's blessing." It is very cool how you are now positively impacting your clients lives. And pretty snazzy work at that Brenda. cheers thanks for posting. ~jb

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  5. Thank you JB.
    I always look forward to your input. April 27 and the days that followed were very surreal for us. We didn't have electricity, so no internet, tv and very limited cell service. One thing I was able to do was to get an occasional tweet to go through. That really made me appreciate my Twitter friends even more. I remember tweeting with you and others about it, but not much of what I tweeted other than to assure y'all that we were alive and well. I'm looking forward to showing you the next tornado related and non tornado projects. B

  6. Oh my Brenda! How horrible! Thank God you are okay. Thanks for sharing. xo

  7. It was a very surreal day or I should say days. We were very isolated with one radio station able to broadcast news. I had pretty much everything I needed in my emergency kit except a battery powered radio. My upstairs neighbors had an extra one and very sweetly gifted me with it. Cell phones had spotty text messaging, but phone calls weren't happening. I am very thankful that all of my family escaped any damage or injury. thanks for your comment.

  8. I did not know you had a blog, Brenda. I love it!!! I will be back to read more about the life and times of my new twitter BBF! My baby sister lives in Tuscaloosa and it was such a frightening day for us. I will never forget what that day felt like and the damage that was done to that beautiful town. We have many friends and families that are there and were blessed not to lose any of them. Thanks for sharing all about your life with us. I'm looking forward to reading more.

    1. Thank you Liz! I apologize for taking me so long to reply. That day was such a traumatic day for most of us Alabamians. Sadly there is still so many houses that haven't had anything done to them yet.

  9. You should blog more, Brenda. I enjoyed reading. That was a horrible scary day. Love the results of your remodel.

  10. Thank you Jamie. I am working on upping my frequency on here. Thank you for your comments. It was such an awful day. It makes me happy to help people turn something bad, like this, into something nice. There is more to come.