OUR VIEW: Remembering historic tornado outbreak

Published 5:12 pm Monday, April 26, 2021

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One of the worst tornado outbreaks in recent memory took place ten years ago on April 27, 2011. Over a four-day span, from April 25-28, there were more than 300 tornadoes over the eastern portion of the United States. 

A large percentage of those tornadoes took place in Alabama, where there were 62 confirmed tornadoes. Many in Troup County will remember the scenes from Tuscaloosa, which looked like a war zone after a large EF-4 tornado went through and tracked into Birmingham.

April 27, 2011, specifically was a rare event in severe weather, the kind of day you might see once every few decades. A total of 319 people lost their life, per the National Weather Service.

Two tornadoes touched down in Troup County that day, injuring six people, according to NWS records. 

Several homes were destroyed as well as documented in editions of the LDN from that date.

Some of us on staff were actually in Alabama that day, others were in Troup County. 

Regardless, everyone was watching the weather and hoping for the best.

Today, 10 years later, we think about the victims of this historic tornado outbreak, one that will never be forgotten. 

The truth is that very few bad weather days in our lifetime will ever be as bad as April 27, 2011, and we’re thankful for that. But in looking back and reflecting on such a major event, we’d be remiss if we didn’t point out the importance of being prepared for bad weather.

Just this past weekend, our area was impacted by quarter-sized hail. To our west, much larger hail fell in parts of Alabama.  We knew bad storms with hail were possible, but if anything, Saturday’s storm is a reminder that weather is a curveball that keeps us guessing at times. 

An easy way to prepare is to sign up for emergency alerts, so that you have a way to get updates on bad weather. Troup County has an emergency alert system on its website, allowing you to get critical alerts, such as severe weather updates. We encourage you to sign up at http://www.troupcountyga.org/E911/Notifications.

Hopefully, most of us will never experience another day like the Southeast experienced 10 years ago, but any severe storm can be life-changing if it impacts your neighborhood, your family, your house, etc. 

Make a plan today, on the anniversary of this infamous tornado outbreak, and be prepared for future severe weather.