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Lifestyle & Human Interest

Waffle House Steps Up to Feed Entire Neighborhood After Deadly Tornado

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On Monday evening, a deadly tornado tore through Birmingham, Alabama, destroying buildings, injuring people and taking a teen’s life.

Elliott Hernandez, just 14, was killed when his family’s home collapsed on him and his relatives. They were trapped in the basement, and several others were injured.

“They were doing what they were supposed to be doing,” Fultondale Police Chief D.P. Smith said, according to the Associated Press.

At least thirty people were injured as a result of the tornado, and many lost power as well.

“The people of Alabama are praying for y’all this morning,” Gov. Kay Ivey said at a news conference. “And we’re here as a sign of our commitment to your recovery. Homes and business can be rebuilt, but losing a young soul to a storm like this is beyond heartbreaking.”

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Also committed to the community’s recovery was a restaurant staple: Waffle House.

Though the Waffle House in Fultondale was also affected by the power outage, they were able to pivot by hauling out a propane-fueled grill and cooking up burgers.

“No power – No problem!” WBRC-TV’s Janice Rogers shared on Facebook on Tuesday. “Waffle House workers cooking food ‘outdoors’ for rescue workers and others in Fultondale.”

WBRC-TV reported that Full Moon Bar-B-Que also helped feed the community.

At some point, the Waffle House ran out of hamburger buns — but a local Arby’s had their back, and the meals kept getting sent out.

“A tornado ravaged through neighborhoods right outside of Birmingham (Fultondale), Alabama, in the middle of the night last night — leaving devastation and knocking out power for thousands of people,” Melanie Renee posted in the Blackstone Griddle Facebook group on Tuesday. “Waffle House amazingly whipped out the Blackstone to feed rescue workers.”

“We are thankful to have the Waffle House Food Truck in Fultondale, AL, feeding the First Responders!” Waffle House posted on Facebook. “Our thoughts are with those who have been affected by the storm.”

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Many other locals, both businesses and individuals, came through with offers of help for the community as well. T-Mobile set up a booth in a parking lot, offering WiFi and charging stations. Porky’s Pride restaurant served first responders, work crews and volunteers.

“We cannot express enough gratitude for all of the volunteers, law enforcement agencies, fire departments and local restaurants coming together for our community in our time of need,” the Fultondale Police Department posted on Tuesday.

And the people delivered, too. They dropped off all sorts of vital supplies that displaced families desperately needed.

“It is truly heartwarming to see everyone come together during our communities time of need,” the police department shared on Wednesday. “We are grateful for all of the donations that we have received. Thank you for your support and generosity.”

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Amanda holds an MA in Rhetoric and TESOL from Cal Poly Pomona. After teaching composition and logic for several years, she's strayed into writing full-time and especially enjoys animal-related topics.
As of January 2019, Amanda has written over 1,000 stories for The Western Journal but doesn't really know how. Graduating from California State Polytechnic University with a MA in Rhetoric/Composition and TESOL, she wrote her thesis about metacognitive development and the skill transfer between reading and writing in freshman students.
She has a slew of interests that keep her busy, including trying out new recipes, enjoying nature, discussing ridiculous topics, reading, drawing, people watching, developing curriculum, and writing bios. Sometimes she has red hair, sometimes she has brown hair, sometimes she's had teal hair.
With a book on productive communication strategies in the works, Amanda is also writing and illustrating some children's books with her husband, Edward.
Austin, Texas
Languages Spoken
English und ein bißchen Deutsch
Topics of Expertise
Faith, Animals, Cooking