ENTERPRISE, Ala. - Mother Nature never ceases to amaze. Often in horrific ways. The tornado that ripped through here was a monster. Today, a team of forensic experts combed through the debris, took calculations and have an early determination: this was an enhanced F3 with winds in excess of 150 miles per hour.
But there's no need to hear that when you're standing in the midst of the rubble. Cars upended and tossed into homes, huge pine trees snapped like toothpicks, and the look on the faces of those who survived the disaster: shock, and now despair. Eight students died in the tornado. It lasted about 15 seconds, but stole futures. Children who had plans, or maybe were too young to even have plans. But each held promise.
The sadness here is as thick as the piles of debris now stacking up. There are folks here who keep saying, "it could have been worse," and "we're lucky more people didn't die," but those comments are from survivors who didn't lose a loved one, a friend, someone who made their life just a little richer.
Enterprise as a community will come back. The 24,000 residents here have pledged to honor the dead by rebuilding, but for those who now have an empty bedroom at home, nothing but time will console this tremendous ache.