Hi I'm Bubs, welcome to my home on the web!

Thanks for stopping by! You have stumbled upon the personal website of Sidney Collins (aka Bubs). I'm a 32-year old student at the University of Alabama studying Computer Science and Mathematics. When I'm not busy programming you'll probably find me writing, drawing, reading, shopping, eating, or playing Monopoly.

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May 2

2011 Tuscaloosa Tornado

Thanks so much for the outpouring of concern after the storm. It’s nice to know that I was in so many of your thoughts. I really appreciate it ♥ I feel very blessed to be alive and to have suffered no damage despite being literally down the road from the tornado. Sadly, many others were not as fortunate. A large chunk of my home state is suffering right now. Please keep Alabama in your prayers and help if you can :beat:

Some of you are probably confused as to why I was in Tuscaloosa instead of Atlanta. Well this January I re-enrolled in the University of Alabama to¬†finish my undergraduate degree. I had to take care of two medical incompletes I received due to my surgery. Since 4 years had passed I opted to retake the courses. And yes, that means my husband, William, and I have been living apart for 4 long months :’(

When I was young I was terrified of thunderstorms. My parents and I never really knew what brought about this phobia but I managed to overcome it by college. After last Wednesday I’m pretty certain the fear will be returning…

I was running back and forth between the tv and the front porch since I was determined to catch a good ol’ southern twister on my iPhone. I assumed this was just like any other severe spring thunderstorm and wasn’t taking it seriously at all. That’s when I saw the scariest image on tv I’ve ever seen: a massive tornado sitting atop downtown Tuscaloosa. The next words from the voiceover made my heart stop: “Kicker Road, Hargrove Road, it’s headed for you.” My house is a block away from that intersection. The power immediately went out. I grabbed my Shih Tzu and a dingy antique feather bed and headed for the closet under the stairs. Once inside I pulled the bed over our heads. I’ve never been so scared in my entire life. As I heard the tornado approaching¬†I prayed that God would spare my life so I could see William and my family again. Then I was struck by a comforting realization. Although I heard the winds spinning violently outside I repeated to myself, it’s not loud enough to be on top of me. Everyone says that a tornado sounds like a freight train. Well this sounded like a freight train in the distance.

I emerged from the closet after a few minutes of silence. I checked my backyard to see if the towering trees behind my house were still standing, which they were. My cul-de-sac had minimal damage. Tree limbs were down, a portion of a fence had been blown away, and some siding was stripped from my neighbors’ home. My neighborhood was extremely lucky. The location of my house is marked on the tornado path map below [full-size]

Path of the April 27th, 2011 Tuscaloosa Tornado

(Map courtesy of @tuscaloosacity)

All of my family and friends are safe. My friend Mike’s apartment was in the path of the storm and suffered damage but he’s still here, and that’s what matters. President Obama toured the area Friday. He remarked that he had “never seen devastation like this.” My heart aches for the city I called home for 7 years :(

An ounce of happy news — the university cancelled finals. Students have the option to take their current grade or a makeup exam at a later date. I took B’s in both of my classes. That means that after a lengthy college career I’m finally a graduate of the University of Alabama! No more school until I decide to return for my Masters ;)

Post Info

Bubs posted this entry 5 years, 8 months ago on Monday, May 2nd, 2011 at 10:41 am.

Comments So Far

20 people have commented on the post “2011 Tuscaloosa Tornado.” Why don't you leave a comment?

  1. Cristina's Gravatar

    Cristina (Quote, Reply)

    Congrats on school, and I am so happy to hear you and your family are okay despite the scary weather! ♥

    Mon May 2nd, 2011 11:33 am

  2. Melissa's Gravatar

    Melissa (Quote, Reply)

    So glad that you and yours are ok. ♥ I hope the rebuilding and recovery is swift for all effected by the storms. :(

    YAY for graduating, congrats!!!!!!!!! :D

    Mon May 2nd, 2011 11:42 am

  3. Erin's Gravatar

    Erin (Quote, Reply)

    I’m so glad you’re safe!! I was worried about you! Congrats on finishing school. Did the university suffer any damage?

    Mon May 2nd, 2011 11:44 am

    • Bubs's Gravatar

      Bubs replied to Erin (Quote)

      Thanks Rin ♥ Luckily, the university was spared.

      Sat May 7th, 2011 2:40 pm

  4. Meggan's Gravatar

    Meggan (Quote, Reply)

    Reading this almost made me cry! That sounds so scary. I am so glad you and your loved ones are okay.

    And now that you are done with school, you and William can be together again! Woo!

    Mon May 2nd, 2011 11:51 am

  5. Maccath's Gravatar

    Maccath (Quote, Reply)

    So scary. :( I’m glad you’re OK, I can’t imagine what it must have been like.

    I only ‘witnessed’ a tornado once when I was living in London for university – http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/london/6217514.stm. I just heard a really loud clap of thunder in the middle of an otherwise fine day, thought wtf and left it. I later read on BBC news that a tornado had hit nearby at the exact time I heard the thunder. I’m really scared of thunderstorms too, I never overcame that fear. :(

    Congratulations on finally finishing university, though. :)

    Mon May 2nd, 2011 12:04 pm

  6. Hev's Gravatar

    Hev (Quote, Reply)

    I am so glad that you are ok. I hope that AL will recover quickly.

    Congrats on graduating!!!!!

    Mon May 2nd, 2011 2:19 pm

  7. Afef's Gravatar

    Afef (Quote, Reply)

    my heart goes out to you and all the people affected by the devastating tornado – so glad that you are safe!! You are also very brave for keeping strong through such a scary situation – i think that really shows that you’ve conquered your phobia!! :)

    ;D a BIG congrats for graduatingggggggg!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Now relax and enjoy life with your loved ones :) xxx

    Mon May 2nd, 2011 3:46 pm

  8. mindy's Gravatar

    mindy (Quote, Reply)

    When I heard it on TV that the tornado had went through there, I immediately thought about you! I am so glad that you are ok. Congrats on your graduation! That is awesome!!

    Mon May 2nd, 2011 4:22 pm

  9. Amanda's Gravatar

    Amanda (Quote, Reply)

    So glad you’re okay. That must have been so scary. Congrats on graduating. Hopefully you get to go home to William now?

    Mon May 2nd, 2011 5:06 pm

  10. Karin's Gravatar

    Karin (Quote, Reply)

    Yikes, that was really close D: I can’t imagine how scary that must’ve been… Glad you and your family are ok!

    And congrats on graduating :D

    Tue May 3rd, 2011 9:46 am

  11. Medli's Gravatar

    Medli (Quote, Reply)

    When I heard about the storms, I was worried. However, now I am relieved to know that you are okay. Tornadoes are one thing I hate. Luckily, I haven’t seen one. I am just so glad that you are okay.

    Congrats on graduating. Now, I know another person who is finished with college.

    Tue May 3rd, 2011 1:53 pm

  12. Jessie's Gravatar

    Jessie (Quote, Reply)

    To begin with, congratulations on graduating from University. I am both extremely proud of you and just a bit envious. I admire anyone who has finished University and is happy with what they chose to pursue a degree in. Personally, I am still undecided between Psychology and English Literature.

    As for the tornado, I am glad to hear that everyone close to you and yourself are doing alright. I cannot even begin to imagine how scary it would be in such a situation. :( I will be sure to keep you and all of the residents of Alabama in my thoughts and prayers.

    Thu May 12th, 2011 2:46 pm

  13. Terri's Gravatar

    Terri (Quote, Reply)

    We had some damage here in GA but not as much as Alabama did. I couldn’t believe the damage when they showed it. Good luck in school, that’s a great university.

    Tue Jun 14th, 2011 5:48 pm

  14. Tuan's Gravatar

    Tuan (Quote, Reply)

    Hi Bubs,
    Glad to hear you’re safe! And a belated congrats to your wedding… yes it’s been that long since I was last here!

    Wed Jun 15th, 2011 8:07 am

  15. Frann's Gravatar

    Frann (Quote, Reply)

    I’ve seen about this terrible tornado,it is so sad see everything totally wrecked,but we can’t do anything when it comes to nature’s power.

    Fri Aug 5th, 2011 12:03 pm

  16. Jo's Gravatar

    Jo (Quote, Reply)

    Good luck back at school! I hope you can manage without the husband for 4 months. The fiance’ and I had to do the same when he got a job at the other end of the state. Also, glad to hear your safe re: that huge storm. I haven’t even been close to a storm like that, so I can’t imagine!

    Thu Sep 22nd, 2011 2:18 pm

  17. Cza's Gravatar

    Cza (Quote, Reply)

    Wow, I know this post is quite old but we here are also experiencing a storm right now and it’s really tough on us. It’s good to know that you guys have gotten better. One year after this post, I hope you have completely recovered :)

    By the way, I just love your layout and would like if you could post more :)

    Wed Aug 8th, 2012 11:50 pm

  18. zengda's Gravatar

    zengda (Quote, Reply)


    Tue Apr 5th, 2016 11:12 pm

  19. 109961094's Gravatar

    109961094 (Quote, Reply)


    Tue Apr 19th, 2016 3:57 am

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