Monday, March 05, 2007

THE MECK RADIO SHOW w/ Bob Howell - Ch. 12 [ Enterprise Tornado] 03/05/07.

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The Meck Radio Show w/ Bob Howell - WSFA Ch. 12 [ Enterprise Tornado] 03/05/07. Posted 9:44p ct. Show Time: 40 Mins.

Meck Notes:
I appreciate Paul Finebaum, Pat Smith, Dave Sibley and the Finebaum Network
for helping spread the word about the tragedy in Enterprise.
Thanks for letting me share this heartbreaking story that touches us all.

I'm grateful Paul made this news/human interest story a priority on his sports program.
One listener from Mobile wrote a check for 1 thousand dollars.

Please give to the people of Enterprise.
Many have lost their homes, their cars, and some even their jobs.

The Red Cross helps them with immediate needs.

Make checks payable to:

Coffee County American Red Cross
[ Note on Check: Tornado Damage]
P. O. Box 310375
Enterprise, AL. 36331
334 - 347- 2461
Thanks for reaching out.

Meck visits with his friend and producer.. Super Dave/ David Strickland re Enterprise.
Their thoughts on the devastation near their hometowns.

It's the saddest sight I've ever seen. It looks like Katrina without the water.
It broke my heart to witness the pain and destruction.
Meck talks about the 17 yr. old senior, Michael Tompkins, who died in the tornado Thursday.
Reports are .. He was in the 3rd hall [ leaning against the wall ]
talking to his mother when his cell ph went silent [at 1:13p].
His Dad was flying a helicopter in Iraq on Thurs. and has returned home to Enterprise to bury his son.

Enterprise .." The City Of Progress "
Many of the students and familes in this wonderful city are part of Fort Rucker.
The Army trains all helicopter pilots in the military at Fort Rucker.
Aprox 1300 - 1500 students attend EHS - the only High School in this city of 22 thousand.
This is one of the finest schools in Alabama. Academics .. Sports .. Spirit.
A proud family environment. Students are well disciplined.

My longtime, precious friend, Miss Saliba, shared her memories with me of teaching
Spanish at Enterprise High School. She loved EHS .. like so many in the Wiregrass.
An interview [ at ground zero in Enterprise] with friend and
Mr. News in Alabama .. Bob Howell - WSFA 12 .. Montgomery Al.

Bob describes the horrible scene and what happened in Hall 3 when the wall and roof
caved in and 8 Enterprise High School students lost their lives when the tornado hit
between 1:10 - 1:15p on Thurs Mar 1, 2007.

Meck notes .. Re the Tornado
- The school was planning to dismiss early at 1:00p
- Aprox 180 mph winds [ tornado moving at 55 mph]
- Aprox an 8 mile path [ about 200 yds wide]
- School buses .. Hundreds of cars heavily damaged [ windows blown out]
- The school destroyed in about 30 seconds or less.
- Eight students die.
- Aprox 40 to 50 students taken to area hospitals.

as of Mar 5th
-- Aprox 350 million dollars damage in the city of Enterprise Al.
-- 569 homes damaged
-- 236 totally destroyed
-- 121 w/ major damage
-- 140 w/ minor damage
-- 99 affected somewhat

Miss Edna Strickland also died from the tornado. She was 83.
Total of Nine deaths in Enterprise.
-- 8 fatalities is the record for an Alabama school. [ Cowarts in 1918 and now Enterprise]
It happened 89 years ago when a tornado slammed into a school in Cowarts Al.

Tornado - 1918 in Cowarts, Al [ 5 miles east of Dothan, Al]
Tornado - 2007 in Enterprise Al [ 25 miles west of Dothan ]

The similarities in these tornadoes [ 89 years apart] are stunning.

1918 - 7students and 1 teacher [ 8 deaths]
2007 - 8 students die

1918 - Tornado struck at 1:40p
2007 - Tornado struck at 1:10p

1918 - 10 deaths in the area [ Cowarts - Webb]
2007 - 9 deaths in Enterprise

1918 - 120 injuries
2007 - 121 injuries [ reported as of Mar 4]

1918 - F3 tornado
2007 - F3 tornado [ possibly an F4]

Enterprise High School was ripped apart and so was Bates Memorial Stadium.
[ It sits in a valley adjacent to the school]
One of the finest stadiums in Alabama .. It was 50 years old.
So many memories .. The winning tradion of EHS Football and Coach Bacon - 27 years.

Hillcrest Baptist Church [ the other side of the stadium] was barely touched with minor damage.
These fine people have been a refuge for many at the school and will continue to be I'm sure.

I enjoyed stopping by First Baptist .. They are a Red Cross Shelter.
Many wonderful volunteers. I met one lady who came all the way from Illinois.
I wanted to say hello to Mary w/ the Red Cross office in Enterprise. She was out working.

I appreciate the kindness of the people at St. Luke Methodist Church.
A wonderful supper on Sat nite.

It was great hanging out with my friend Bob Howell and the Ch 12 news team in Enterprise.
Excellent coverage as always.
Many came by to express their thanks to Bob Howell for their coverage.

I'll always remember the President/Air Force One landing in Dothan at 8:01 am on Sat.
and visiting Enterprise .. helping get the federal relief agencies in gear.[ Declaring Enterprise a Federal Disaster]
It's not often a President of The United States comes to Southeast Ala.
[The last time was 1986 when Pres Reagan visited Dothan, Al.]

I know Pres. Bush lifted the spirits in this stricken area.
I'll never forget that scene when he had his hands on the shoulders of the SGA Pres.[ Megan Parks]
comforting her and classmate [Sarah Carroll ] .. Surrounded by their shredded school.

A moving and tearful scene.

They asked Megan .. 'When did she find out she was going to meet the President ?'
'I got a call about 30 mins before he arrived. '
'I was at work' .. she said.

Can you even imagine that segway of emotions ?

You're at work .. grief stricken and you get a call:
'The President of the United States would like to meet you.'

There's nothing that can compare to hope.
Reaching out .. no matter who we are.

Thanks for listening to our show regarding the tragedy and recovery in Enterprise.
Thanks to Bob Howell and Super Dave for their perspectives.
Thanks for your TIME and reaching out to help.

We will always remember these special eight lives at Enterprise High School.


Be sure and read about each student in this Mar 4th article by Lance Griffin and Jim Cook.
Eight lives cut too short. [ The Dothan Eagle]

On the net:
Bob Howell -
Paul Finebaum - - Great articles and pictures re the Enterprise tornado.

Coming Soon on The Meck Radio Show.
Bobby Cox - The Best Manager in the history of Baseball.
Paul Finebaum - Writer/Talk Show Host
Gov. Mike Huckabee - Presidential Candidate.
Donald Watkins - Business Icon. Ethanol.
Bobby Clampett - golfer/announcer for CBS and TNT.
Please Bookmark the in your favorites
and forward the page to your friends.
Thanks for listening. Turn it up baby.

Please click on link to hear today's show.
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