THIS WEEKEND: Monument for April 27, 2011 tornado victims unveiled in Mt. Hope


Tornado damage in Mount Hope on April 27, 2011.

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MOUNT HOPE, Ala. - Next week marks six years since the tragic April 27, 2011 tornado outbreak.

In Lawrence County, there has long been talk about erecting a monument. But a group of private citizens in one town says this is the year that talk becomes action.

Mt. Hope resident Misty Henderson remembers it vividly.

"It probably lasted thirty seconds to a minute," she began. "When we came out, the house was pretty wrecked up. We were able to get out without having a scratch on us."

But some of her friends and neighbors had a different fate. That day changed lives, and took lives. Now, they will be memorialized.

"We started trying to raise a little bit of money and support the effort, do something nice that would always be here," said resident Proncey Robertson.

T-shirts sales and other fundraisers supported locally and from miles away will, at long last, bring a monument to Mt. Hope. Robertson said his wife, Kristi, led the charge over the last year raising funds, and the community responded.

He said her work, and the community's response, will culminate this weekend.

"We want to unveil that Sunday with a ceremony to recognize the families and recognize our community and all we went through."

The monument, Lawrence County's first, will include the names of the 14 lives lost across the county.

Both Henderson and Robertson said it will not only mark the tragedy, but also the great unity that followed, and remains in and around Mt. Hope today.

"We were able to get through that time because of the love," said Henderson. I think the monument they're going to put up is also a symbol of that and also, for generations to come, to remember how important it is to be weather-aware."

The unveiling ceremony for the monument is Sunday, April 23 at 3 p.m. at the park next to the post office in Mt. Hope. The address is 7650 Co Rd 23, Mt Hope, AL 35651.