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Alabama Remembers 2011 Tornadoes

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Monday, April 27, was the fourth anniversary of the 2011 tornadoes which struck the State of Alabama doing unprecedented damage to counties across the State.

US Representative Robert Aderholt (R-Haleyville) wrote on Facebook, “On this 4th anniversary we remember the lives lost, the lives changed and the scars left to our landscape. We remember April 27, 2011.”

US Representative Gary Palmer (R-Hoover) wrote, “As I think back upon the April 27, 2011 tornadoes- I am reminded that times such as those can bring out the best in us. Most Americans in general and Alabamians in particular are not people who sit back and wait for the government to show up to take care of them. Even though it took a couple of days for FEMA to get to Alabama, people did not wait to get started with the relief effort. When word got out about the devastation, hundreds of volunteers poured in to help with the recovery. Churches from a multitude of denominations across Alabama and from neighboring states began loading trucks with food, clothing and other badly needed supplies and sent them to the town. Volunteers came with chain saws and equipment for removing debris while others served food or helped with the unloading of trucks. This is what self-government is really all about: people taking responsibility to help one another without being made to or told to. They do it because it is who they are, it is how they were raised. There are countless examples of people loading up whatever supplies and equipment they could and going to help. It’s what Alabamians do when others are in need … we roll up our sleeves and help people get back on their feet.”

Alabama Lieutenant Governor Kay Ivey (R) said in a statement on Facebook,: “April 27, 2011, is a date Alabamians will never forget. Take time today to remember those we lost in the terrifying tornadoes that ripped through our state and for their families who are grieving on this day.”

Jefferson County Commissioner David Carrington (R) wrote, “Four years ago today, on my 169th day in office as a Jefferson County Commissioner, I saw first-hand the worst of Mother Nature and the best of human nature when multiple F4, F3 and F2 tornadoes tore a wide path of destruction throughout Jefferson and surrounding counties. As I rode throughout the County for hours that night, I saw devastation that I could only describe as Hiroshima-like; I saw shocked citizens, who had just lost all their worldly possessions, walking aimlessly down dark roads cluttered with debris; I saw a fully-staffed triage unit with volunteer doctors and nurses doing their best to ease the pain of the injured who arrived on the backs of their neighbors, in golf carts, and on doors that were used as make-shift stretchers – and I saw a body bag for the first time in my life.”

Alabama Conservative Group wrote: “Prayers to all that lost loved ones on this fateful day in Alabama 4 years ago and to the first responders and everyday people who stepped up!!”

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253 Alabama residents were among the 348 persons nationally who lost their lives in the three day event that stretched from Texas to New York.  In Alabama 62 long track tornadoes swept across Alabama striking 43 of Alabama’s 67 counties.

Cordova, Moody, Shoal Creek, Pell City, Birmingham’s Pratt City neighborhood, Tuscaloosa, Hackleburg, Phil Campbell, Rainsville, Cullman, Harvest, Hueytown, Pleasant Grove, Tanner, Concord, Eoline, and Holly Pond were just some of the Alabama communities impacted that day.

The storm event produced over $11 billion in damages across 21 states with Alabama and Mississippi bearing the worst damages.

Alabama has had more tornado deaths than any other state in the country since World War II.

Brandon Moseley is a former reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter.

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