AN IMPORTANT MESSAGE: THIS POST WAS MADE IN APRIL 2011 and is not related to the tornadoes that touched down today (March 2nd 2012).
Hi all, before I get this post started I want to post a few things because there are a LOT of people who need help right now.
As of one hour ago Apison was looking for volunteers with chainssaws to report to Apison Elementary, Callie Starnes (Of News Channel 3) is apparently in the area here’s her twitter feed.
Red Cross @ Chattanooga TN: (423) 265-3455 (Shelters are Open)
Hamilton County Schools are closed Thursday April 28th, 2011
Edit: I will try to get information updated as I receive it, I strongly suggest looking into things like the Channel 3 Twitter Feed as they are going to be updating that thing around the clock.
What we know right now
According to my sources in the area, Ringgold, GA was hit by a Tornado at approximately 8PM EST April the 27th 2011. The Tornado was an F3 and did damage to several area restaurants and businesses. The places damaged include the Ringgold Overpass for I-75 which was reportedly hit by a large truck being hurled in its general direction, the Kyrstals, Town Hall, and other locations. Micro Tornadoes were in most of the outlying cities and areas (Soddy Daisy, East Ridge, etc). Most of my information is based on phone calls to and from the East Ridge and Chattanooga area that I have received within the last 2 hours.
I’m not exactly sure on death tolls, the phone call I received specified that currently 15 people are missing in Ringgold, and I can’t even begin to fathom at the number of folks who are missing around the greater chattanooga area. News Channel 3 had this to say on the matter:
As the morning goes on, we’re learning more about significant damage and loss of life. Jackson County, Alabama (only a half-hour from Chattanooga) has confirmed 8 deaths– 3 in Pisgah, 1 in Bridgeport, and 4 in Higdon. Also in Catoosa County, GA, Ringgold High and Ringgold Middle were heavily damaged. – David Carroll –
The report by Channel 3 seems to corroborate the report I was getting that the Ringgold Tornado touched down somewhere around the Bi-Lo (Or Food Lion, I got grocery store out of it), hit the Krystal and a few other downtown restaurants, threw a car into town hall, threw a Semi into the Ringgold Overpass, and did damage to both Ringgold High and Ringgold Middle school
I don’t have any photographic evidence of the area yet, as most people I’m in contact with are trying to get back to their homes and trying to get some sleep after such a long day. Hopefully I’ll get getting some photographs in tomorrow morning or afternoon and I will be sure to update this post. What I do know is that right now the area has just gone through one of the nastier storms in its history and can use all the help it can get.
I ask anyone in the area that can help to please do. Chattanooga and the area at large is not the type of place that is prepared for that kind of weather to be dropped on them, I think in fact that there isn’t even a Tornado siren in the city anymore (used to be one atop the Belvoir Pharmacy). I know right now that most if not all emergency services in the area are out and about.
I post this as a Chattanooga resident for 18 years, and I hope that those of you with power that can find this will realize just how devastating a storm this really was. I’ve ridden through some rough weather in that area, from flash flooding, to wind, and even a bit of snow, but I have never seen the kind of devastation that I’m looking through right now. I didn’t really have anything to say, except that if you have friends or family that are in the Chattanooga area that you give them a call and make sure they are alright.
Pictures I do Have: [Click Here] Those were taken earlier today (around noonish) of the East Ridge area, showing the flooding and downed trees. It also looks like Fox News in Atlanta managed to get someone out there, They have a few images of the damage in Ringgold here. Nooga has a few more pictures from inside Chattanooga here.
A Ringgold Resident posted this video of the Tornado landing on the town: