Guntersville, AL

"Small town with huge hearts"

After the tornadoes hit, it took a huge effort to get the state park cleaned. Now that it’s clean, it’s time to play! (Credit: Dawn Bradford)

We retired to Guntersville Alabama in late 2010. Lake Guntersville is the largest lake in the State of Alabama and home to some of the best sport fishing, bringing in large tournaments almost every week. When tragedy struck, the town showed what it was made of.

In 2011, we were hit by devastating tornados and many folks lost their homes and others suffered significant damage to their homes. Being from Chicago, we had never seen such huge hearts outpouring love. Churches from all over the U.S. came to help with construction, tree removal, home repairs and much more.

The restaurants offered to cook any meat you bring to them as they would go bad without power. The Tyson chicken plant gave out free chicken dinners to anybody who came. The Holiday Inn opened up their rooms with towels so anybody who wanted to shower could do so free of charge. Our small-town dry cleaners made sure that our residents had clean clothing free of charge. The local Coffee shop sent me home with four gallons of coffee to pass out to rescue workers. The state of Alabama gave almost everybody $600 on a food card to replace the losses.

Surveying the Destruction