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Remembering The 2011 Tornadoes

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JACKSON COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) -- Three years after devastating tornadoes hit the Tennessee Valley residents and responders are remembering those who lost their lives.

Inside a small church in Flat Rock, Jackson County, residents there bowed their heads for a moment of silence. A small plaque sits at the front. Its letters are small, but its significance is huge.

Written on it are the names of the people in the area who lost their lives to the storms in 2011.

The community in Flat Rock is remembering the people in their area who lost their lives in the tornadoes.

Through encouraging words and prayer, they're coping.

Miles away in Scottsboro at in the Emergency Management Agency, it's a different feel.

With a severe weather threat for the Valley extending over several days, officials are monitoring it on the hour.

Jackson County EMA Director Mike Ashburn's job for the next several days will keep him in the Emergency Operations Center.

While he's working though, he's remembering.  "April 27th is a day we'll always remember," Ashburn says, "It started early and never did stop."

He says when the storms hit it took every resource in the county to respond. "The rescue squads, the local fire departments, they had their hands full. They were overwhelmed and had a lot of help from the general public in this time of need."

Ashburn says the storms seemed endless. "We were here at the EOC at three in the morning, getting prepared for it, and then first damage reports came in at seven in the morning and the last was at 11 that night," Ashburn says.

The damage the storms left  was devastating.

Some parts of the area are still recovering.

Ashburn says it brought the county together. "The communities pulled with one another in this horrible time," Ashburn says.

Eight people died in Jackson County from the storms in 2011.

Ashburn says since then they've bettered their communication systems. They've also gotten new means of communication, so the EMA can get more information out to the public, faster than they did three years ago.


  • Ashley

    I love the news, but i mean what about the places that wrre hit the worst like tuscaloosa ruth and cullman? Those three places were hit worse than the ones that yall only talk about.

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