Officials in Colbert County, AL turned off Tornado five-alarm siren: WHY!?!?

… Residents complained about the noise.

FYI: A Tornado struck Colbert County earlier this month, find out more here.

Officials in Colbert County, Alabama turned off a five-alarm Tornado siren after residents complained about the noise it made, as reported by WHNT news.

A resident reached out to the news outlet after a Tornado recently touched down in the area, asking why the siren wasn’t trigged.

WHNT reached out to Colbert County EMA director Mike Melton, who told the news outlet the siren was turned off “four years ago” during its testing phase.

He cited complains from SIX residents as the reason.

“It was asked to be moved. Did we ask if the entire neighbourhood was advised of what was happening, I did not. What we tried to do is appease some people.”

Mike Melton, Colbert County EMA director

The main purpose of the siren is to warn residents of approaching severe weather, however WHNT says it has “laid dormant”.

Officials have been unable to relocate the siren because it was purchased and designed for a specific location.

The Colbert County EMA director says he is willing to meet up with residents to come up with a resolution.   

We highly recommend that you read The Weather Network’s article on the story – click here to read that piece.

April 2011 Super Tornado Outbreak – relive the outbreak in video

RELATED: Videos of the Violent EF4 and EF5 Tornadoes on April 27, 2011

The April 2011 super Tornado outbreak was one of the biggest, deadliest and most destructive severe weather and Tornado outbreaks in the U.S. Suffice to say some of a handful of the Tornadoes that touched down during the outbreak struck heavily populated areas.

Regardless of alerts well in advance and short term warnings, the Tornadoes/storms killed three hundred and twenty one people and injured almost three thousand people, according to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA – Storm prediction Center – SPC).

Nearly three hundred and fifty Tornadoes touched down in around of the south, Midwest and northeast states of the U.S. A majority of the Tornadoes that touched down during the April 2011 super outbreak happened on the 27th April, according to the National Weather Service.

The most destructive Tornado, a multiple-vortex EF-4 Tornado, which took the lives of sixty five people and injured more than one thousand people alone swept through Tuscaloosa and Birmingham, Alabama during the afternoon/evening on the 27th April.

Suffice to say, within a matter of minutes, ten per cent of Tuscaloosa was destroyed and more than one thousand six hundred people were left homeless – including the students of University of Alabama. It has to be said, the above mentioned Tornado was one point five miles wide with winds of one hundred and ninety miles per hour. 

The Tornado was on the ground for more than eighty miles.

It has to be stated: The same supercell thunderstorm that produced the Tuscaloosa and Birmingham Tornado went onto to spawn other Tornadoes that “skipped” along a three hundred and eighty mile long path from Mississippi to North Carolina.

Three EF-5 Tornadoes, twelve EF-4 Tornadoes and twenty one EF-3 Tornadoes struck during the April 2011 super Tornado outbreak. Some of the violent storms coincided areas that were hit with severe weather and Tornadoes earlier in the month. April 2011 was a busy month!

A destructive and deadly Tornado outbreak took place on the 14th – 16th April, when one hundred and seventy eight Tornadoes touched down and resulted in the deaths of almost fourty people across parts of the Plains, south and eastern seaboard.

In closing, April 2011 saw a record seven hundred and fifty Tornadoes strike the U.S, according to the SPC – records go back to 1950.

We didn’t particularly want to make this a wordy article, however we wanted to give this significant outbreak a well-balanced and detailed introduction. Now you’ve read about it, now relive the April 2011 super outbreak thru the lens of a camera in the videos below.

Find an extensive video playlist of the Hackleburg/Phil Campbell EF5 Tornado below.

Furthermore, TV coverage and documentaries in regards to this outbreak can be found below.

UPDATE: A reader brought it to our attention that Smithville, Mississippi was struck by an EF-5 Tornado on the 27th April 2011 – watch two videos of the Tornado below.


Tornadoes by state so far this year visualised in one incredible map

The visualisation below illustrates how many Tornadoes have struck each state of the U.S. so far this year.

Visualisation credit: Taylor Kanost

Suffice to say, Dixie Alley has been significantly active.

Sixty Tornadoes have struck Mississippi, fifty three Tornadoes have struck Alabama and thirty six Tornadoes have struck Georgia.

Texas has seen thirty four Tornadoes touch down in the state.

FYI: We Are Iowa’s morning meteorologist Taylor Kanost posted the visualisation on his official Twitter account.


Alabama has been struck by fifty three Tornadoes in only four months

It’s been a busy year for Tornadoes in Alabama to say the least!

The National Weather Service (NWS) in Birmingham, Alabama (AL) have put out a statement this week looking at 2019’s Tornadoes so far, safe to suggest it was astonishing.

We’re only four months into the 2019 Tornado season, and AL has been struck by fifty three Tornadoes.

Comparing that with 2018, when forty six Tornadoes struck AL – all year.

“The 30-year average count for Alabama Tornadoes in an entire year is 47. Therefore, we have already eclipsed the year average and we are not even through the spring severe weather season.”

NWS Birmingham, AL (Branch)

It’s suffice to say that this loosely runs from March through to May. One of the 2019 Tornadoes was the deadly EF-4 that struck Lee County on the 3rd March, killing twenty three people.

Find further relating-statistics from the weather service below:

  • There were twenty eight Tornadoes in AL in March – highest on record since 1950.
  • The Fifty three Tornadoes in AL before the end of April rank second all-time behind 2011.
  • AL has had nine Tornado days already in 2019. The thirty-year average is not far away, twelve point six.
  • The Fifty three Tornadoes confirmed so far this year make 2019 already number thirteen far annual number of Tornadoes since 1950
  • Of the fifty three Tornadoes confirmed so far this year, twenty four have been EF-0s and twenty three have been EF-1s. There have also been five EF-2 Tornadoes and one EF-4 Tornado.

“2019 still has a long way to go!”

NWS Birmingham, AL (Branch)

This post was inspired by this relating article produced by You can read that article here.  

27th April 2011 Tuscaloosa/Birmingham, AL Tornado – relive in video

Here’s an overview on the Tuscaloosa/Birmingham EF-4 Tornado…

…The Tornado was spawned by a supercell thunderstorm which initiated in Newton County, Mississippi at 2:54pm (CDT), it dissipated in Macon County, North Carolina at around 10:18pm (CDT).

This supercell thunderstorm lasted around seven hours and twenty four minutes – travelling approximately three hundred and eighty miles producing several significant strong/violent Tornadoes along the way.

The EF-4 Tornado initially touched down in northern Greene County, Alabama (AL) and moved northeast through southern Tuscaloosa and western Jefferson counties, where it caused devastating damage to portions of the city of Tuscaloosa and western suburbs of Birmingham, AL. The Tornado lifted northeast of downtown Birmingham.

The Tornado entered Tuscaloosa County, just north of CR 60, west northwest of Ralph, and moved northeast causing tree damage and minor building damage which is consistent with an EF-2 Tornado.

The Tornado intensified as it crossed the Black Warrior River, north of interstate 20 and approached Tuscaloosa to a violent EF-4. As the Tornado approached interstate 359, a handful of buildings were destroyed – including Tuscaloosa County Emergency Operations Centre.

Along 15th street east and McFarland Blvd east, several small restaurants and stores were destroyed, with only a wall or two standing. The Tornado completely devastated the Cedar Crest neighbourhood just north of 15th street, levelling many cinder block homes and killing three people.

The Tornado then crossed McFarland Blvd, where is destroyed more stores and restaurants. The EF-4 crossed McFarland Blvd in the Alberta City community. Alberta Elementary School was almost completely destroyed, with only a few walls still standing.

A nearby apartment building was reduced to rubble. The Alberta Elementary School suffered nearly complete destruction with no walls standing and a pile of debris on the foundation. Cinder block construction homes in the surrounding neighbourhood were completely destroyed.

The Tornado continued northeast and struck the Chastain Manor Apartments at the north end of 34th Ave east – completely destroying a brand new two story apartment complex. It has to said, a small club house anchored to a foundation was completely destroyed – swept from the foundation.

Comparable devastation to homes and businesses was eminent along both sides of CR 45 near 1st street east and locations to the northeastward. East of Holt, the Tornado path width widened from zero point five mile to one mile.

The Tornado crossed Holt Peterson Road just northwest of Clinker Road, where two homes were completely destroyed. ALMOST! All trees were blown down or snapped in the vicinity, as well as in the bottom of a narrow ravine.

The EF-4 continued to Holt Lock and Dam Road near its intersection with Recreation Area Road where it caused significant damage to a restaurant as well as a number of boats. Several injuries were reported in this area.

The Tornado moved northeastward and weakened an EF-3 rating. As its path narrowed to zero point five mile, the Tornado passed north of Brookwood, near the intersection of Hannah Creek Road and CR 99 and moved into western Jefferson County, four miles north of Abernant…

…With that being said, we’re going to leave our overview here. Read more about the Tuscaloosa/Birmingham EF-4 Tornado here. Below find a handful of relating facts:

  • Rating: EF-4
  • Estimated maximum wind: one hundred and ninety miles per hour.
  • Injuries/deaths: one thousand five hundred injuries/sixty five deaths
  • Damage path length: eighty one miles
  • Maximum path width: two thousand six hundred yards (one point five miles) when crossing I-65.
  • Approximate start point/time: 33.0297/-87.9350 at 4:43pm
  • Approximate end point/time: 33.6311/-86.7436 at 6:14 pm

With that being said, relive the Tuscaloosa/Birmingham Tornado in the videos below.


Frightening footage! Man films deadly Tornado from parking garage

The Tornado in the video below struck Tuscaloosa, Alabama in April 2011. The Tornado was rated EF-4/F4.

There’s something about this footage that makes us watch it over and over!

In the video, watch incredible footage of the Tuscaloosa, Alabama EF-4 Tornado filmed from inside a hospital parking garage.

The video was captured by Tommy Clark on the day the Tornado struck – April 27th 2011. However, the video was then sold to Viral Hog.

Subsequently, the video broker posted the video on their official YouTube account.

In the near future, we will be producing a relive in video article for this Tornado. It’s safe to say this Tornado was historic.

Captured on surveillance camera! Watch Tornado flip cars

The Tornado in this video struck Leighton, Alabama on the 9th May 2008. The Tornado was rated as an EF-2.

In the surveillance camera video below, watch the May 2008 Leighton, Alabama Tornado flip cars. Safe to say this clip gained a lot of attention.

The surveillance camera footage was captured by the surveillance camera at S & M Equipment on the day the Tornado struck.

In the video below, watch The Weather Channel report on the above footage.


This is why people should be wearing helmets during Tornadoes…

…Flying projectiles are extremely dangerous – as illustrated in the photos below.

Photo credit: Stacey Jolley
Photo credit: Stacey Jolley

The above photos are of Tornado damage in Welti, Alabama – Cullman County. The photos were captured by Stacey Jolley…

…However, James Spann posted them on his Twitter account.

President Trump signs bibles during Alabama Tornado visit

Photo credit: Mickey Welsh

Today, President Donald Trump signed bibles for people affected by the deadly Tornadoes that struck Alabama this past Sunday.

Trump signed the bibles whilst visiting a Baptist church in Opelika, AL – which is presently serving as a disaster relief centre.

Ada Ingram told reports that the president signed several hats and bibles, including one for a twelve-year-old boy, a gesture which drew a round of applause from people who came to see Trump.

The president and first lady Melania Trump spent a majority of the day touring areas in Lee County, AL that were damaged by the Tornadoes.

Photo credit: Josh Dawsey

Twenty three people including a handful of children perished in the Tornadoes – it’s suffice to say Trump met with the victims.

Trump signed an emergency disaster declaration earlier this week authorising federal aid for the area – find relating tweet below.

UPDATE: Video from Trump’s visit to AL has started emerge online – watch in the videos below.

Original source – The Hill

Questions asked regarding mobile home performance during recent Tornadoes

Before we get into the post, we’re going to introduce the man who asked the questions. David B. Roueche is the assistant professor in CE at Auburn, AL University.

Roueche applies engineering principles to understand and reduce impacts of weather-related natural hazards. Now, back to our regularly scheduled post.

In nine separate tweets, Roueche put eight separate difficult questions to Brian Hastings (@AlabamaEMA) regarding mobile home performance during the Tornado outbreak in Alabama and Georgia in which twenty three people killed.

We think it’s fair to say, these questions need to be answered. You can find Roueche’s tweeted questions below.

Now that you’ve had the chance to read them, now you can read some of the replies these questions got below.

We’re not particular impressed with this reply, however we wanted to feature it.

It’s safe to say this particular subject is a much-needed debate in congress. Let us know your thoughts and even answers to Roueche’s questions below in the comments.


News stations won’t stop covering a Tornado simply because the golf is on

This post was inspired by Dennis Mersereau (Forbes Contributor)

The comments really got to us during the outbreak Sunday. It’s suffice to say catostropheres  like Tornadoes bring out a variety of human behaviour. We tend to see this on show at every turn – news station meteorologist on to rescuers and the everyday joe public looking for ways to help after a catastrophic event – like Sunday’s Tornado Outbreak in AL and GA.

However, a passing scroll through social media during a news station’s severe weather coverage illustrates what it looks like when individuals choose a different route. Individuals tend to send news station meteorologists angry (livid, furious) messages – and it even sometimes get to the threats stage – whenever the news station has to stop regular programming (much-loved television show, sports event) to cover severe weather.

Its suffice to say news stations almost (almost) always stop regular programming in favour of covering severe weather events – inc. Tornado warnings. Because we’re writing in the UK, this type of scenario is standard in the U.S. and is rarely disturbed just because the final round of a PGA tour event is on. It’s mind boggling to see the barrage of hate that news station meteorologists get every time a TV show or sporting event is interrupted in favour of live coverage of severe weather events.

This above scenario played out in front of our eyes on Sunday when a violent Tornado outbreak happened in Alabama, Georgia and surrounding areas. The most significant Tornado was an EF-4 (preliminary) which took the lives of twenty three people in Lee County, Alabama. Whilst news station meteorologists warned people – to seek shelter – who were in the soon-to-be affected area – they had to go through cruel, bitter and spiteful tweets from viewers to put a PGA golf tournament back on air – see in tweets below.

FYI: no matter how much pressure the news station meteorologists receive from d**khead viewers to put a PGA golf event back on when a Tornado is destroying homes and changing lives, it’s extremely unlikely that a news station will ever chose to run normal – irrelevant TV – programming whilst a significant Tornado is occurring. NOT GONNA HAPPEN!

As Mersereau said in his post, “no matter how much selfish and angry hate mail people send”.

Our personal point of view can be found below.…

“ITS NOT GONNA HAPPEN! You’ll just have to wait and see Tiger Wood’s meet his next mistress on the course later…”

News stations report severe weather events – Tornado warnings – simply because it’s a hugely (massively, enormously…) important service which essence saves lives. A severe weather/Tornado warning ticker scrolling across the screen isn’t enough to save lives. The viewers in the path of what could be a significant Tornado need to see the radar, hear the towns and street names mentioned in order to drive home and face the particular scenario.

“I’m getting angry whilst writing this post just thinking of people moaning about such a thing. We’re going to close this post on this last paragraph!”

Jamie Simms, website lead

With the incredible technology at our disposal today, we have the ability to track Tornadoes in real-time – see debris being lofted in the air. It would be irresponsible, thoughtless and stupid not to use the incredible technology we have at presently in order to warn people in the path of a severe storm – Tornado.

Thanks to Dennis Mersereau for inspiring this post. We highly suggest you go and read his version on the same subject here.

Chaser who went above and beyond in AL Tornado Outbreak offers update

Read this first: Selfless chaser goes above and beyond in AL Tornado Outbreak

We’re not going to say anything, we’re going to turn it over to Rich Lewis to give us his update – which he posted on his Facebook wall.

“Just want to give everyone an update. I just got back home to Birmingham about 30 min ago. I can’t find the words to describe how I am feeling emotionally. I’m exhausted and have so much on my mind. 14 hours of SAR operations has taken its toll on me. The damage I witnessed in Beauregard AL was horrific.

The only damage I’ve seen that was worse was Joplin. The entire area looked like a war zone. Trees were debarked as if you’d peel a banana. Homes completely wiped from their foundations. County Rd 39 and Cave Mill Road, the epi-centre of ground zero had pavement scoured away which was a big factor in the EF-4 rating.

Photo credit: Rich Lewis

At 6 am we still had 20 people missing and many still trapped under rubble. Sadly two more casualties were uncovered bringing the fatality total to 24. A specialized team with cadaver dogs was present, and seeing that hit me hard in the pit of my stomach. They aren’t there for search and rescue.

They are there prepared for recovery. It doesn’t get any more sobering than that. Overnight SAR concentrated heavily on the wooded areas surrounding the heaviest damage path. One crew found a gentleman displaced 1/4 mile away from his home. The crew I was with found multiple survivors buried under mounds of tree debris.

Photo credit: Rich Lewis

I talked to numerous survivors that have lost their entire family. One young man lost both his parents, and both sets of Grandparents to this tornado. Children were amount the casualties, the youngest a 6 year old boy, an 8 year old little girl, and a 10 year old girl who will never come home from a sleepover at a friend’s house.

It was about as bad as it can get. I cried almost the whole way home this afternoon.

I believe casualties could have been lessened significantly if people had taken the warnings more serious. The common theme I heard throughout today was we didn’t see a tornado, we didn’t know one was on the ground. Some of the worst killers hide shrouded in rain. Just because you don’t see a tornado, doesn’t mean there isn’t one.

Photo credit: Rich Lewis

Lead time was 9 minutes from the moment the tornado touched down to the epi-centre of ground zero in the heaviest damage zone. However the first reports of this storm going tornadic happened just east of Montgomery and 1:30 and was tornado warned shortly thereafter.

It is vital to be weather aware on days such as yesterday. Have a ready action plan in place. And if you know you’re in the path of a tornadic storm, that’s the time to start taking precautions. Don’t wait until you hear sirens, don’t wait until you see the tornado, because it’s too late.

Yesterday’s tornado was so heavily rain-wrapped very few got a glimpse of the monster lurking behind the walls of precip anyways. Yesterday and into the overnight will stay with me for the rest of my life. This isn’t my first tornado disaster or SAR, but this one was definitely different.

It hit me harder as it’s the first time I connected with the victims on a deep emotional level. I want to take this moment to thank everyone for their kind messages, words of encouragement, gratitude, and the all the posts. I was overwhelmed when I saw the amount of support I had when I got home. Today was very rough, but each and every one of you reminded me why it’s important to give back. Thank you.”

Again, we can’t thank you enough for what you did Rich.


New up close video of Smiths Station, AL Tornado

Just incredible! A new and up close video of the significant Smiths Station, AL Tornado has emerged online – watch in the video below.

The video was captured yesterday by Louis Bridges and posted by James Spann.

You can see the cell tower collapse at the beginning of the video.


Selfless chaser goes above and beyond in AL Tornado Outbreak

Rich Lewis was there when others weren’t!

We’re going to start this post a little differently, we’re going to let Lewis’ friend Chris Dickerson give a sense of what this post is about to be about.

“I’m very proud to call Rich Lewis a friend as it is, but to leave your home at night to drive south and participate in private search and rescue efforts after the authorities called them off?”

Image may contain: 1 person
Photo credit: Rich Lewis

How did this all come to light you ask? Lewis posted a thought-provoking and significant statement on his Facebook wall last night – which can read in full below.

“Earlier this evening, Lee County Alabama officials made the hard decision to call off search and rescue (SAR) operations and resume early this morning as recovery efforts. It’s a hard decision and one Emergency Management doesn’t take lightly without great pause.

 It’s now time for some us to step up and what we do best as this is the worst natural disaster in history for the region, and the deadliest Tornado since the 2013 Moore OK Tornado.

Thankfully, there are now private search and rescue crews from all over the South here to continue SAR operations throughout the night along with the help of volunteer’s from local agencies who aren’t ready to give up.

There are still people missing, temps have dropped substantially and we could see wind chills by morning in the 20’s and maybe even the teens in much of Alabama. If we can save even just a few more lives, then it’s worth it.

Time is of the essence for anyone injured or still missing in these temps. We just had a briefing with Red Cross officials. SAR operations will continue from Beaurgard to Smiths Station AL overnight.

It will be a long night, and we will likely see the death toll rise. Please pray for the first responders tonight, we will likely see things none of us want to see. Continue to pray for the families so adversely affected by tonight’s deadly Tornadoes.”  

It goes without saying, this is a whole other level of kind-heartedness. Not forgetting, the service Lewis is giving to the affected community.

We’re extremely proud of you Rich and thank you.

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Heartbreaking photos and videos of Tornado damage in AL, GA

Below find photos and videos of damage caused by yesterday’s powerful, significant and deadly Tornadoes in Alabama and Georgia.

More photos and videos will be posted in due course.


Powerful and Significant Tornado captured on camera in Smiths Station, AL

The powerful and significant Tornado that struck Smiths Station, Lee County, AL has been captured on camera – watch in the video below.

The video was captured by Amy Cannon and was posted only minutes ago on Twitter.

We will post more video/photos of this Tornado once it becomes available.

UPDATE: Incredible video taken by one of Scott Peake’s GoPros in
Beauregard (Smiths Station), AL – watch in video below.

UPDATE #1: Video from inside the Marathon gas station in Smiths Station as one of the Tornadoes passed over – watch in the video below.

UPDATE #2: Smiths Station, AL – Tornado crossing U.S 280


Tornado emergency has been issued as powerful Tornado hits AL

A powerful and significant Tornado has touched in Smiths Station, Lee County this afternoon amid a severe weather outbreak.

The National Weather Service (NWS – Birmingham, Alabama branch) issued a Tornado emergency at 2:09pm due to “large and extremely dangerous Tornado”.

Damage within the area hit by this Tornado has been reported – however it’s unclear at this time the how bad the damage is.

A photo of the Tornado can be found below. It’s safe to suggest that this is a dangerous, powerful and significant Tornado.

More photos/videos of this Tornado will be posted in relating articles.



UPDATE: It has been confirmed (via James Spann) that two people have died in the
Beauregard area of Lee County.