Signs of recovery showing in Mt. Hope

There are signs of recovery showing in many areas just four days after violent tornadoes ripped through the eastern and western parts of Lawrence County killing 14 people.

The town of Moulton has turned into a pseudo-command center for the hundreds of relief workers and law enforcement officers who have traveled to the area. Moulton has also just gotten power just before 5 p.m.

Food, water and ice are being handed out at the Church of Christ at Main and Walnut Streets.  It's there that applications are being distributed for the dozens of county residents who want to help. "I was without power for 14 hours, but got it back," said one resident. "I brought my husband and daughter and we just want to help."

And that help is needed. A quick drive past the road blocks in the town of Mt. Hope reveals devastation in many areas. Homes were picked up and tossed into trees leaving piles of rubble as far as the eye could see along County Road 23.

Friends, neighbors and relatives of those affected are flooding the small town doing whatever they can to help. Some damaged homes sit amongst the piles of wood and brick with brand new roofs. A sign that things just might be moving in the right direction for some.

For others, however, the road ahead is uncertain. Oh! Bryan's Steakhouse on Old AL 24 was reduced to a concrete slab. Co-owner Kevin Gillespie says four of his employees were in the restaurant when the tornado approached, but were able to make it next door to a tornado shelter just before impact.  The shelter saved their lives.  Gillepie doesn't know how he can afford to rebuild.

Crews hope to have power restored for the town of Moulton by Monday afternoon, according to EMA Director Hillard Frost. It could take until Wednesday or Thursday until electricity reaches outlying parts of Lawrence County. County Commission chairman Joey Hargrove says the water supply is in good shape.

Donations are being accepted at the Church of Christ.  Food and ice are welcomed, but volunteers are not taking clothes right now.

The residents of the county are hopeful for what the future may bring, but know that the days and weeks ahead will be a test of their focus and determination.

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