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  • The Tuscaloosa News

    By the numbers: A look back at the tornado outbreak of April 27, 2011

    By Ken Roberts, Tuscaloosa News,


    The most devastating tornado in Tuscaloosa’s recorded history occurred 13 years ago, part of a historically large outbreak of severe weather that caused widespread damage across Alabama and five other states.

    At around 5:13 p.m. on April 27, 2011, a mile-wide, EF-4 tornado tore across the Tuscaloosa landscape, upending homes, businesses and lives in an unyielding, 5.9-mile path of destruction through Holt, Rosedale, Forest Lake and Alberta.

    More: Tuscaloosa charities with ties to 2011 tornado join forces

    The tornado damaged or destroyed more than 12% of the city of Tuscaloosa – 5,362 homes and 356 businesses, included – and either directly killed or contributed to the deaths of 53 people.

    The National Weather Service estimated that the storm packed maximum winds of 190 miles per hour in Tuscaloosa.

    More than 60 twisters struck Alabama that day, leading to at least 250 deaths statewide, more than 1,500 injuries and around $1.5 billion in damage across Tuscaloosa and Birmingham, according to the Tuscaloosa Emergency Management Agency.

    According to the Associated Press, an EF-5 tornado that day in Hackleburg in Marion County killed 18 people, destroyed several homes and wiped out most of the small town's businesses.

    In the small town of Phil Campbell in Franklin County, 27 people were killed, while in northeast Alabama's DeKalb County nearly three dozen people died in the tornado outbreak.

    More: 'Nothing can make you forget’: Former Tuscaloosa News staffers recall 2011 tornado

    Waves of tornadoes plowed across the Eastern U.S. over four days, April 25-28, 2011, killing more than 320 people in six states and causing an estimated $12 billion in damage to homes, businesses, churches and other structures. Alabama was the hardest-hit state in the tornado outbreak.

    The National Weather Service called it " one of the largest, deadliest, and most destructive tornado outbreaks in U.S. history," with 207 tornadoes on April 27 alone.

    This article originally appeared on The Tuscaloosa News: By the numbers: A look back at the tornado outbreak of April 27, 2011

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