15 YEARS LATER: Looking back at deadly Enterprise tornado

15 YEARS LATER: Looking back at deadly Enterprise tornado
Published: Mar. 4, 2022 at 11:46 AM EST
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ENTEPRISE, Ala. (WTVM) - Thursday, March 1, 2007.

The National Weather Service Tallahassee Office would issue 57 warnings for their coverage area - northwest Florida, southwest Georgia, and southeast Alabama.

35 of those were tornado warnings - 1 was historic and horrific.

The aftermath was a community’s worst nightmare: a school taking a direct hit from a powerful tornado and nine lives were lost. For the Tallahassee National Weather Service Office, this tornado was the most powerful the office has ever issued a warning for - a record that still stands today.

“Then it was utter chaos...”

Kenneth Boswell was the Mayor of Enterprise in 2007 - a role he held for 14 total years. He now serves on Governor Kay Ivey’s cabinet as the Director for the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs.

He has advice for any mayor or community leader.

“Have a plan. Implement the plan. Train with your people. Make sure your EMA and first responders are equally connected.... you never can plan or train enough,” said Kenneth Boswell, former Enterprise mayor, Current ADECA Director.

Enterprise faced tragedy and disaster - and without planning in place for such events, Boswell says it would have been much worse.

“We took it upon ourselves. We had not had a hazardous storm program when I came on board so we were proactive when I became mayor and we implemented one. We trained and actually not only trained but implemented over and over different scenarios for how we would respond. Unbeknownst to me the training literally paid off.”

And his message to elected officials is to prepare now for what could come later.

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