Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Tragedy and destruction

By Jannet Walsh

Photos, multimedia by Jannet Walsh
The day three deadly tornados hit central Florida will be a day I will never forget. I compare it to a war zone.

I was sent the first day to photograph the destruction in the Lake Mack and Pasiley area, Feb. 2, 2007. I have been a journalist since 1987, but this would be the day that will be marked in my mind. Loved ones were searching for their family and friends. I found Father Anthony Palmese, of St. Jude Catholic Church, from Marion Oaks,Florida, also a Marion County Sheriff’s Chaplain, located at a fire station in Pasiley with the list of the dead trying to comfort those searching for the unaccountable souls. Early in the morning 11 people died when the tornados hit, only in the Lake Mack area.

The next day I returned to photograph and produce a slideshow of the Living and Dead. The stories of how loved ones were found can be heard in my presentation. You will hear stories that are unthinkable and maybe make you more thankful for your life.

Painfully Becky Nolan, pictured above, talked about her late son Jacob Nolan, age 7, and her husband William Nolan, both died in the early Friday morning tornados near Lake Mack, a romote area in central Florida on the edge of the Ocala National Forest. This photo was part of my entry that earned Third Place for portrait/personality from Florida Press Club Excellence in Journalism Contest 2007.

View Soundslides project: Lake Mack Three Months After Deadly Tornadoes

View a map from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration of destruction
from the 3 tornados on Feb. 2, 2007 with a total of 21 fatalities covering a distance of 70 miles in central Florida.

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