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We all have memories of where we were and what we were doing during pivotal moments in time. This past Thursday, I was standing in our store in Equality, looking out the door and listening to James Spann’s coverage of the storm. I was using my cellphone to record video of the storm as it passed by.
At first, the weather at the store seemed very calm and dry, but with warning notifications about head injuries coming from Spann, I grabbed my motorcycle helmet and put it on, and when I went back to the door, it was now blowing open as the sky opened up, and torrential rain poured down.
My husband then showed up and said that he and the grandbaby were going to drive in the opposite direction to avoid the weather and asked if I wanted to go for a ride. I closed “Jenny’s General” and we went south toward Wetumpka.
By now we have all seen, heard, or read of the impact of the storm. While some had simple wind damage, others lost everything, but those without any major damage have rallied to help those affected.
Nixburg was hit hard, especially in the Rehoboth Road area, but also on highways 9 and 259. I know areas along 231 were hit, as well, but I want to focus on our community here in Equality and Nixburg coming together, volunteering, donating, praying, and supporting our affected neighbors.
My husband and I loaned our 14-foot long enclosed trailer to be used at the Rehoboth Methodist Church rescue center. Upon arrival, I was taken aback by the early response of prepared food, food stocks, clothing, and pet supplies. Meals were being prepared for those affected, as well as for volunteers and working linemen. So many donations coming in that they are now being rerouted to other affected areas such as Rockford and Alexander City. Way to go, Equality and Nixburg neighbors!
Maggie Boulware’s house burned to the ground in a fire related to the storm. Because their house was more than 100 years old, and was made of heart-pine, the whole place went up in just 30 minutes. Maggie and her brother, Mike, were able to get out safely with their rescue dogs, but they lost everything. Unfortunately, they had no homeowner’s insurance.
Maggie’s daughter has organized a GoFundMe campaign to cover some initial costs to replace their I.D. documents, medications, and other needs that the Red Cross can’t offer to them. They are looking to have a mobile home or camper put on the property to meet their immediate housing needs.
Personally, we had no significant damage to our house. But now, more than ever, I am even more motivated to get our home refinished, as it is also more than 100 years old and made of heart-pine inside and out.
We intend to remove the heart-pine interior walls and replace them with gypsum sheet-rock walls. We need insulation installed where there was none. Together they should make our house more fire resistant and efficient.
We did have limbs down and part of the barn roof torn away, but that is little compared to the damage and loss of others. The business lost the covering on the greenhouse, and we will have to get that replaced before this coming spring. I know that we are very blessed to not have had more damage, but at the same time not enough damage to file insurance because of the deductible, so repairs will take a bit of time until we can fully address them.
Due to the storm and power outage EPAC had to cancel last week’s “Open Mic Night,” but the doors will be open tonight, Friday, January 20, for Karaoke from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. If you are looking for something to do, please come out to support this free-to-the-community entertainment opportunity. Also, next Friday, January 27, EPAC hosts a live performance by singer/songwriter Lara Oshon from 7 to 9 p.m.
I depend on all readers to share with me what is happening within your organizations, churches, neighborhoods, groups, or family to share in next week’s column. Please contact me; call or text 256-531-6460 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.