Tuscaloosa Mayor: Prayer Helping after Tornado

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The mayor of Tuscaloosa, Ala., said prayer has helped carry him through the aftermath of the tornado that devastated his city on April 27.

The tornado killed 41 people in the central college town and several others are still missing.

Just a few hours after the tornado struck his city, Mayor Walt Maddox asked a police chaplain who was riding in the car with him to pray for city officials and the city.

The chaplain prayed for strength, patience, protection, and wisdom. Maddox said from that point on, he's had an incredible amount of energy and strength.

"I want to grieve, but there's just not time," Maddox said.

He said he had not cried yet, but he'd "come close several dozen times."

Maddox recalled the pep talk to his staff after returning to city hall for the first time after the storm.

"How we conduct ourselves in the days and weeks ahead will determine how our citizens will feel about our future," he recalled saying. "We have to be calm and we have to be caring."

Residents say the mayor's resolve helps them to believe thing's will get better. He's also been an example in the affected areas, offering hugs, handshakes, and hauling cases of drinking water.

"He's sunburned!" exclaimed resident Anne Stickney "You don't get sunburned sitting in your office. He's out there doing something."

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