Sometimes, sports take a back seat

This has been a long week for the Southeast. Huge tornadoes terrorized entire cities, wiping small towns off the map and leaving larger towns like Tuscaloosa and Birmingham in their paths of destruction.

I’ve never used this blog for anything other than sports, but since I started the blog 23 months ago, there have been few moments on American soil that have been more tragic than what we saw this week. This was one of the top three tornado outbreaks in recorded history, and I have watched it all unfold from afar, seeing hundreds of pictures sent in to The Weather Channel by residents of these towns (and photographers from The Associated Press).

In Tuscaloosa alone (three days after the EF-4 or possibly EF-5 tornado hit), there have been 39 deaths, 5,731 buildings destroyed and 570 people still missing. It hit home when a friend of mine from college, Jackie Takaki, had her home in Tuscaloosa leveled by the twister. She’s a trainer at the University of Alabama, and a very strong person to be handling this situation as well as she has.

Here is what remains of her house:

She also found her FSU diploma:

Here are some other telling and powerful photos from the weekend. Trying to imagine what these people are going through is impossible to grasp:

AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis

AP Photo/Billy Weeks
AP Photo/Billy Weeks

AP Photo/Mark Almond

AP Photo/Michelle Lepianka Carter

AP Photo/Daniel Giles

AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis

AP Photo/Dave Martin