BALDWIN COUNTY, Ala. (WKRG) — Knocking down what the twister didn’t destroy, the beginning of a cleanup almost as unexpected as the storm. “I didn’t know they were all going to come together and help pick it up,” said Joanne Valinski looking over what’s left of her home.
Volunteers from the Fairhope Rotary Disaster Response team were on site early Monday morning doing what they do when Mother Nature is at her worse. “I just know when you are sitting there and don’t know what to do and a group of people just wanting to help you shows up, nothing lifts you more,” said Andy Tubertini. “Nothing gives you better hope than that.”
For Valinski it was an emotional and welcome sight. “I appreciate em,” she said, “because I can’t get it.”
Valinski and her son Bobby were inside the mobile home when the twister picked it up and smashed it. “When the alert come on the phone I immediately stood up and you could hear the winds already. They were already to us,” she said.
Those same winds ripped off a barn roof across the street, taking out power lines and huge trees as they made their way to the place she has lived for the last six years.
“We’re just trying to get it cleaned up enough to get it all in a dumpster,” said Tubertini. “Get this out of the way and she can get back on the road to recovery.”
She still has a long way to go but through it all Valinski says she has never asked why. “When you live in the south it’s never why me, it’s just the way it goes.”
Valinski and Bobby are continuing to recover from their injuries during the storm. She said they are both doing a little better and the efforts of volunteers and others in the community certainly help.