Updated: 6:03 p.m. Tuesday, May 3, 2011 | Posted: 4:55 p.m. Tuesday, May 3, 2011
Franklin Graham Says Alabama Damage Is Among Worst He’s Seen
CHARLOTTE, N.C. —
The Rev. Franklin Graham just returned after visiting hard-hit Tuscaloosa, Ala. over the weekend and said it will take everyone coming together to rebuild people's lives.
Graham described the destruction as among the worst he's seen anywhere around the world, including the damage he saw firsthand in Japan after the earthquake and tsunami earlier this year.
"As you fly south to Tuscaloosa, it's like a bomb went off," he said, the disbelief still visible in his face. "Every building, every structure is blown to pieces."
He said he could clearly see "a brown trench" right through the middle of town that the tornado carved into the landscape, taking out everything in its path.
That's why, on Tuesday, he called on anyone in the Charlotte area who wants to help the tornado victims to sign up, whether it's through a neighborhood group or through an organization like Samaritan's Purse, which has roughly 1,000 volunteers in Alabama right now.
"As we get further and further removed from that storm, it's going to be less on people's radar," he said. "Volunteers are going to be needed throughout the summertime. We'll be there all summer long working."
Later this week, it was expected that some other members of the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team were going to head to the Deep South. Their primary mission is to provide spiritual help and counseling. Graham said that was just as important in times of need as physical donations.