HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — April 27, 2011, was a day that is now ingrained into the minds of many Alabamians as a horrific day.
253 people across the state were killed in the 62 confirmed tornadoes that day, with more than 100 of those in North Alabama. The tornadoes ranged from EF-0 to EF-5 and caused around 2,219 injuries. Several families were left homeless while extensive power outages added to the challenges of disaster response and recovery.
For Alabamians, the 18-hour period when the storms were striking seemed never-ending. More than 1,200 miles and $4.2 billion worth of damage were spread across the state. The “Super Outbreak” spanned multiple days and affected 26 states in all, but Alabama was the hardest hit.
The first wave of storms hit around 4 a.m. that Wednesday morning with an EF-1 hitting the town of Waterloo and ending around 7:30 a.m. More than 30 tornadoes ranging from EF-1 to EF-3 ripped through the area, killing a Pisgah woman and ruining over 15,000 trees at Lake Guntersville State Park.
A second line of storms carried seven EF-0 to EF-1 tornadoes through Morgan, Limestone and Madison counties between 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
The third wave started just after 2:30 p.m. and involved several “supercell thunderstorms” that produced more than 25 violent tornadoes, 11 of those rated as EF-4 or EF-5.
On Tuesday, Governor Kay Ivey proclaimed April 27, 2022, as a Day of Remembrance.
You can read more about those who survived the storms, lost loved ones, and how communities came together following the disaster by visiting our April 27 Anniversary section here.