Parents reach out to UA students

Published 10:09 pm Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Karen Herring was breathing a bit easier by 9:30 p.m. on Wednesday.

Herring had finally been able to talk with her son, Zack, who is a student at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa.

“I couldn’t find my child for a little while,” she said. “But everybody we’ve talked to has had their child report in and they are OK.”

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Tuscaloosa was in the crosshairs of a deadly tornado Wednesday afternoon, a wall of storm which ravaged the city and left much of the area around McFarland and 15th streets flattened and dozens of dead in its wake.

Zack Herring, whose house is off 15th Street, was OK, but the status of his house was in question.

“Zack actually had lost power about 2:30 a.m. (Wednesday). He’d gone to a friend’s house and they were there until they started getting the alerts. They went to the basement of the Kappa Alpha house and rode out the storm there ….

“I guess I’ve put him in the bathroom so much that he knew what to do.”

However, as of late Wednesday night Zack Herring still hadn’t been able to return to his home. “The streets are blocked off and police won’t let him back,” Karen Herring said.

“But he’s OK. We’ve been so blessed,” she said.

Chris Davis, another Troy resident attending the University of Alabama, wasn’t as lucky.

“He’s OK, but his house is destroyed,” said his mother, Sandy Boutwell. “He lived less than a mile from the Quad.”

Boutwell and Herring both said they had been in contact with other Troy parents of Alabama students, utilizing a network to try and confirm the safety of the students.

“The UA parents kicked into gear,” Herring said. “So far, they all seem to be OK.”