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Twister in Tuscaloosa, AL

Updated on July 19, 2016

Photos of the Tornado

The Tornados in T-Town were very destructive. One was an F4 and the other an F5. Twisters have caused many deaths and tons of destruction by tearing buildings and homes apart.
The Tornados in T-Town were very destructive. One was an F4 and the other an F5. Twisters have caused many deaths and tons of destruction by tearing buildings and homes apart. | Source
Aftermath of The Tuscaloosa Twister which occurred in April of 2011 and killed over 200 Alabamians.
Aftermath of The Tuscaloosa Twister which occurred in April of 2011 and killed over 200 Alabamians. | Source
2011 Tornado in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. This tornado caused havoc for miles and it destroyed many homes, businesses and even an elementary school.
2011 Tornado in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. This tornado caused havoc for miles and it destroyed many homes, businesses and even an elementary school. | Source

Alabama Twister

Weather has always a been a tricky subject and at times but, at the same time, I am fascinated as well. I have to say that I feel sorry for the weathermen and women of our time. It seems as though as weather patterns are not the same as they used to be. These men and women do their best to keep us safe. The weather can change in an instant. Don't we all know that by now? I think at times we may be hard on weather men and women.

Typically our weather most like every day would travel from east to west. This is just normal. Our weather men and women were already predicting that on this fateful day the clouds would travel from west to east. They kept telling us our storms would not be typical.Most recently we had storms that came from the southeast and south. Our weather does the opposite now sometimes than what we are used to our weather doing during that particular season. I don't care who you spending time with. Always be Alabama weather away. With our weather being so wishy-washy, there's not way to know for sure what the weather is going to do. Not on this particular day. This day was different.

This is one day that everyone of the residents in Alabama will never forget. The weather forecasters had been predicting bad weather. This time however, there was a more serious tone in their voices. One of concern, worry and warning. This day that the forecasters prepared for was worse than the usual forecast.

Our forecast sounded like something that would come out of one of the end of the world movies. If all the conditions line up at the same time, we have the potential for some of the deadliest storms in our Alabama history. We all know that forecasters are wrong at times, and I don't believe that anyone thought it was going to be as bad as it was. Then, of course, we all have the mentality in the back of our head that says; it will not happen to us. I think more often than not, we really do think that it will not happen to us.

The company that I worked for at the time let us be off that day. Living in Jasper, Alabama at the time, we were expected to have two rounds of bad weather that day.

A strong line of thunderstorms that morning with severe weather highly possible and the second line of storms were to come through in the afternoon with severe weather again highly possible. The first round of storms were severe and with tornadoes bad in some areas and the next round were even more severe with the tornadoes. I almost dare say that everyone in Alabama was effected by this in some way or another. There were non-for-profit organizations that came of this tragedy and spin off groups of the main ones. I know it is hard to understand why things happen sometimes but, I believe that things happen for a reason.

There have been tornadoes before and since this one but, none that reach the magnitude of the ten twisters that tormented are state. The worst before this occurred in 1995 and it terrorized Hueytown, Rock Creek and Tuscaloosa. The worst to hit Bama before that one happened in the 1950s.

Any twister is dangerous and proper precautions should be taken when you hear sirens or one is announced on the radio. This disastrous monster was a vivid reminder and still is, of what a twister is capable of. I have a new appreciation of these terrific storms.

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Frightening Facts

There are several unbelievable STATS and facts from the deadly tornado outbreak. There were around 3 days during the outbreak of bad weather. Here are a few of those STATS or facts:

1. The days of the bad weather were classified as April 25, 2011-April 28, 2011. By bad weather they mean tornadoes taking hold all over the state and surrounding states as well.

2. There were estimated to be around 348 deaths over that period of three days.

3. Damages estimated to be around $11 billion. This counts residential and commercial damage in the state of Alabama.

4. The highest wind was recorded in Alabama at Hacklesburg/Phil Campbell at 210 miles per hour in Alabama.

There is an area that I drive through in Phil Campbell to visit my family and it is truly devastating in this area.

The tornadoes literally ripped up trees clean out of the ground and tossed them for up to a mile in some areas. There was a chicken house near my home and it flattened the chicken house.

Always take shelter in a basement or room without windows if you think a twister is approaching. If you are in a car and the tornado is close, the best thing to do is pull over and get in a ditch or somewhere as close to the ground as possible. Stay away from glass and any other sharp objects during a major storm. Always take cover during any bad weather for your own protection.

Tornadoes and Lightning

Twisters frequently are accompanied by thunder and lightning.
Twisters frequently are accompanied by thunder and lightning. | Source

Aprill 27th 2011

Tuscaloosa, Alabama: Location of the Destruction

After Effects

The F5 Tornado that tore through Tuscaloosa and other cities in Alabama left the town in shambles. Taco Bell and Burger King signs were in the middle of the road and two 18 wheelers were upside down in someones front yard. It was the neighborhoods that were terrorized the worst. Not only did the homes get leveled but, even the trees got cleared out and uprooted. The Elementary School Got leveled but, fortunately the school was empty but others were not so blessed. President Obama, Charlie Sheen and other famous people toured the devastation in Tuscaloosa the following day.

Red Cross and FEMA along with many volunteers from different states came out in droves came together and cleaned up the mess but, it is only began to rebuild from the devastation. The stigma of this event still remains three years later as people are still rebuilding and coping. There is a big difference when you view Tuscaloosa, AL now and it is 2016. This was a truly devastating storm to so many different people. The damage was state wide.

Unedited Raw Version

The Recovery

Even today, you can still go to Tuscaloosa and there are several areas that haven't been built back. There were 4 frightening days of bad weather predicted for our region, with the worst day being on the 27th of April. There are still stories that I hear each day even still about that day in April when so many people's lives were changed that day in just a matter of minutes.

F5 Twister in T Town

© 2012 Buster Johnson

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