Snow Stalls Tornado Clean Up

By Lindsey Connell - bio | e-mail

SALEM, AL (WTVM) -  Snow fell quietly on downtown Salem Sunday, creating an eerie calm and covering the tornado's destruction.

Nowhere did you hear sirens, chainsaws, or bulldozers- a stark contrast to the massive clean up efforts that were underway only twenty four hours ago.

Instead of cleaning up the tornado's damage, construction equipment in Salem stayed still, coated in inches of snow. Today's storm is only masked the damage yesterday's left behind.

We found some crews braving the weather, working along HW 280 to restore services knocked out by the tornado.

Officials say power has been restored to all who can accept it.

Over at Wacoochee Junior High, workers were shoveling shards, shrapnel and snow.

"A lot of the sky lights are blown out, a lot of water damage, mostly wind damage, the roof's totaled. With the snow, we couldn't get on the roof to do any kind of repairs so we started on the inside first and we're going to work here until we can get things safe enough so we can get up there," said Van Borun with 1-800-BOARD-UP.

On the other side of the school, some members of Salem Chapel AME saw the damage to their church for the first time.

"I cried right when I saw it," said member LaShondra Thomas.

For the Lord's day, the congregation had planned on holding a prayer service near what's left of their church but fell victim to the weather once again.

"It gives us some time to recoup. If he has the power to do that then we know he has the power to bring us through this and we will be fine and we will come back strong," said the church's pastor, Kendra Jacobs.

The Lee County Sheriff says a police post is being set up at Wacoochee Junior High to protect the school's grounds.

We're told patrols will also be going thru damaged neighborhoods, keeping an eye on the homes there.

As for Salem Chapel AME Church, they'll hold a service at Mountain Springs Baptist Church in Salem next Sunday at 2 PM eastern, celebrating their 162nd anniversary.