APRIL 27, 2011 TORNADO OUTBREAK–SPECIAL REPORT–PART 3 OF 3
Tornadoes ripped into the state of Alabama on Wednesday, April 27. Multiple vortex tornadoes changed the landscape, leaving behind EF4 and EF5 damage in the state. At least 236 people in the state lost their lives as a result of the deadly tornado outbreak.
Tuscaloosa hardest hit area
Tuscaloosa county, including the city of Tuscaloosa and the University of Alabama, was hit by an EF5 tornado packing wind speeds of over 200 miles an hour. The twister left most of McFarland flattened as if by a gigantic steamroller. Experts, including President Obama, stated that the damage in Tuscaloosa is the worst that they have ever seen.
North Alabama also hit hard
The nortnern part of the state was also hit hard by the storms. Hackleburg, Phil Campbell, and Mt. Hope on the northwestern corner of the state were pretty much leveled by the tornadoes that came through the area. Phil Campbell’s officials state that there are no buildings left in the downtown area.
Cullman County suffered severe damage as a result of the tornadoes, as well. Even the Cullman County Courthouse in downtown Cullman suffered heavy damage. These storms continued their path of destruction into Marshall, DeKalb, and Jackson counties.
Limestone and Madison County (in the Huntsville metro) suffered heavy damage from a tornado that left a deadly path of destruction through Tanner, East Limestone, Capshaw, and Harvest. A grocery store and a pharmacy was totally destroyed in Harvest, as well as Anderson Hills Subdivision (which had also been demolished by a twister in 1995). Separate tornadoes did lesser damage to the Chase and New Market areas of the county.
Magnitude of the outbreak
Local tornado historian Chris Lisauckis stated that the tornado outbreak, in his opinion, was the “most amazing outbreak in Alabama history, all things considered.” He then compared it to the Tristate Tornado of 1925, which left heavy damage across Missouri, Illinois, and Indiana.
When asked how people can prepare for future warnings, Lisauckis stated, “Take tornado warnings seriously. Take tornado emergencies as a life or death situation.”
NOTE: The American Red Cross is assisting with tornado victims. To find out how victims are being assisted, and how to help, visit www.redcross.org.
If you have a story to share about your experiences during the tornadoes of April 27th, use the comment form below to share your experiences. We would love to hear from you.