Remembering the Worst Natural Disaster in Alabama History: April 27, 2011
Have you ever been in a tornado before?
To the over 230 people who lost their lives during The Tornado Outbreak of 2011. I want to say rest in peace and you will never be forgotten. I lost my uncle Frankie on April 27th, 2011 as a tornado took his life in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. My thoughts and prayers will always stay with the victims of this tragedy and they will always be honored and respected in Bama. Anytime weather starts acting up it is up to us to take the proper precautions.
Also, Mississippi, Tennessee and several other states had to endear the same outbreak problem. My condolences to those victims too.
Natural Disasters in the U.S.
Homes and Businesses Destroyed
Tuscaloosa, Alabama sustained the most damage as far as the death toll and money for repairs. My son takes Karate and his club was leveled along with Chuck e Cheese, Taco Bell, Krispy Kreme and even the elementary school. Roads were closed for days and even weeks in some areas as 18 wheelers, bricks and billboards blocked the streets. Both malls were spared but several gas stations and parts of the University of Alabama were damaged. Before all is said and done I believe the businesses will come back and flourish. Lots of places operated with damage such as water leaks or other minor problems.
Damage Done To Tuscaloosa, Alabama
Still Feeling The Effects
As of 2015 Alabama is still trying to recover emotionally and financially from the 2011 twister outbreak. Some businesses have been built back and are doing better than ever but in some smaller cities and areas the little businesses went under which is extremely sad to say the least. A crisis like this shatters lives and makes everything hard. Memories are all over the place. Where it used to be homes and thick wooded areas full of trees lies desolate mountain views with no homes or trees in sight.
It should be recognized that Tuscaloosa, Birmingham, Concorde, Pleasant Grove, Cullman, Phil Campbell, Blountsville, Sawyerville and Piedmont were involved in the deadly outbreak.
President Obama Surveys The Damage
President Obama Toured Alabama
The President and his wife visited the state as well as celebrity Charlie Sheen. Although money was committed to Alabama from the Obama administration it was the moral support and upbeat attitude/strength that his visit provided that was the true boost. Most of the folks who toured the aftermath of the F-4's and F-5's that ripped apart Alabama usually teared up especially when they were informed of the body count.
A State of Emergency was issued and Red Cross supplied food and living quarters to those in need. Also, port-a-potties and large dumpsters were all over the place which was helpful but at the same time very sad.
Alabama F-5 Tornado Outbreak (Video)
Cullman, Alabama Twister Outbreak (2011 Video)
Emergency Items For Tornadoes
It is bad to deal with a tornado outbreak but we must learn from the past. Certain items and procedures can be done to at least be more ready to deal with emergencies during natural disasters especially those dealing with weather. Below are ten important tips to follow that will help you during a twister.
1. Go to basement, closet or a room with no windows. Always stay down to avoid flying objects.
2. Have a weather radio handy. Always try to know ahead of time when the weather is getting rough.
3. Keep a flashlight and candles around. If the power is knocked out these items will come in right on time.
4. Keep batteries nearby. You never know when you will need them for a radio or flashlight.
5. Plenty of bottled water should be readily available. Do not dehydrate.
6. If your outside get away from trees and get in a ditch or as low to the ground as possible.
7. Keep food stored up just in case of a severe power outage. Can goods or items that do not have to go in the fridge is recommended.
8. First Aid Kits should be close at all times in case of any injuries that need tended to.
9. Cell Phones is a must. A phone should be kept around for calling ambulances and police.
10. Having a generator is a wise idea. This can be a Godsend during a major power outage.
Twister Aftermath: 2011 (Video)
Weather Radio on Amazon
I must say that it was impressive to see people from all walks in life joining forces to rebuild. A special thank you should be given to Red Cross who helped out tremendously with aid. Over 300 people died in Alabama during the storms and it was important to pull together as a team in order to overcome. Other tornadoes have come before these did to Alabama. In the mid 1990's Tornadoes came through Alabama killing over 30 folks and leveling tons of homes.
A healthy fear resides over the people of Alabama because of the twisters that have poured terror out on our state.
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James Spann Interview (Video)
Wedge Tornado in Athens, Alabama
Facts about The Outbreak
From April 25-28 of 2011 the largest tornado outbreak in American history happened.
The National Weather Service announced that they recorded 355 tornadoes.
The winds from these twisters reached speeds of 210 miles per hour.
Total damage totaled just over $11 Billion.
President Obama called for a State of Emergency after the tornadoes left.
2,000 National Guard Troops were deployed to Alabama.
© 2015 Buster Johnson