Everyone remembers this date 5 years ago when tornado ripped through our town. I was at work when it all happened and all I can remember is wondering what was going to happen?

After the storm I headed to my then-girlfriends apartment in Alberta where I had started staying and remember all the debris and damage that had happened.

I remember not being able to go up McFarland to get to University to go to Alberta because all the roads were blocked.

When I did find a way into Alberta it was from Loop Rd.

Just before I got to Crescent Ridge Rd. the National Guard had the road blocked off and I had to show my license(which still had my B'ham address) and at first he wouldn't let me pass.

Then I showed him the light bill for her address(which was in my name) and he finally let me pass.

When I got to the apartment I couldn't believe my eyes, looking down University Blvd toward the university there was utter and complete destruction.

The very place I had bought cigarettes from that morning was gone...absolutely gone, nothing left but the concrete foundation that it used to sit upon.

Seeing all of this touched me in a way I can't really describe, I was thankful for being unharmed yet troubled by all the damage and worrying about those that we caught in the tornado's path.

We had a lady on our sofa who we didn't know but she had barely escaped her home up the street before it collapsed on her.

She was injured and in a lot of pain and we tried to do all we could but we had no power and no water, no phones but we did what we could.

And to this day that lady(I forget her name) still keeps in contact with my wife(girlfriend then) and says how much she appreciated how we opened our humble abode to help a total stranger.

That was a recurring theme in the days, weeks, and months following the tornado, helping those in need and coming together as a community.

We are better off now because we as a city came together to overcome the blow that mother nature dealt us.