Survivor reflects on anniversary of deadly, record-breaking tornadoes

Survivor reflects on anniversary of deadly, record-breaking tornadoes


Four years ago, 211 tornadoes touched down across the country. Seven of those tornadoes were in our area, setting the record for the most tornadoes in one day in Alabama.

The rash of twisters across the country in 2011 was the costliest tornado outbreak of all time, and one of the most expensive natural disasters ever, totaling $11 billion in damage.

For Mountain View Elementary assistant principal Todd McRae, today is a time to be thankful.

"It was just a blessing that it happened during the night hours and not during the daylight hours," McRae said.

The school was destroyed in the 2011 storm, forcing the district to send students home for an early summer. McRae explains that crews were able to re-build the school within months, letting students walk through these doors that following fall. 

"The construction crew, they burned the midnight oil, they really got after it," McRae said.

The Meriwether superintendent explained that the steel structure of Mountain View Elementary was able to withstand the storm, a comforting thought for some if disaster strikes again.

On April 27, 348 people across the country lost their lives due to the tornadoes, with 238 deaths in Alabama and 13 deaths in Georgia. From April 25 to 28, 2011, there were even more storms with 355 tornadoes spreading across 21 different states.

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