Ralph and Fosters “In Desperate Need of Help” After Possible Tornado Friday
Two communities in southwest Tuscaloosa County are in "desperate need of help" after a strong storm that residents believe involved a small tornado passed through the area Friday.
Patsy Mozingo, a Fosters resident who lives on Sylvan Loop Road, reached out to the Tuscaloosa Thread directly to ask for the community's help, especially in Ralph. Listen to her audio below.
"There was a tornado late Friday afternoon that pretty much destroyed Ralph and portions of Fosters," she said. "There's over 100 power pole lines down, nobody has power. some don't even have phone service and I have seen nothing on the news or news reporters reporting the damage at our location."
Mozingo is not wrong about a lack of attention to the area this weekend. The National Weather Service has not confirmed that a tornado passed through the area Friday, although some Ralph residents are sure only a tornado could have caused the kind of damage they are experiencing.
She also said many in the community are without power - but most people in Ralph and Fosters are not Alabama Power customers, so looking at the usual post-storm outage maps does not reflect the crisis on the ground there.
Instead they generally rely on the Demopolis-based Black Warrior Electric Membership Corp. and other smaller co-ops and electricity providers.
Black Warrior EMC said in a Friday press release that a round of storms Wednesday left 8,000 residences they serve without power. Days later, another 5,000 customers lost power because of Friday storms, which hammered southwest Tuscaloosa County, Ralph and Fosters.
Thread could not immediately reach representatives for Black Warrior EMC Sunday morning.
Help is on the way, though -- the Tuscaloosa County Emergency Management Agency said they are going to assess damage from the Friday storm first thing Monday morning.
Crews will be in the area at 9 a.m. Monday, the EMA said, and residents can report damage directly at this website.
Mozingo said several areas in that part of Tuscaloosa County are still impassable because of debris. She said she hopes the community will take notice of the desperate need the storms have created, especially in Ralph, and where residents especially need power restored but could also use food and clean water because some of their refrigerators have been off for days now.
For more updates on the situation in southwest Tuscaloosa County, stay connected to the Tuscaloosa Thread.