On April 27th, 2011 at 5:13 pm, a tornado more than a mile wide touched down and ripped a path across Tuscaloosa.

The massive EF-4 tornado took the lives of 52 citizens, shaking the city to its core. 12% of Tuscaloosa was destroyed and more than 7,000 people became unemployed in less than six minutes.

On the night of the storm, over 1,200 citizens were injured and treated at DCH Regional Medical Center.

In the weeks following, residents joined forces with kindhearted people from across the country to clean and begin to rebuild the champion city.

Here are a few facts compiled by Tuscaloosa Forward and released in October 2011:

  • 5,362 residential structures were affected - 2,493 damaged - 1,612 severely damaged - 1,257 were destroyed
  • 356 commercial structures were affected - 178 damaged - 64 severely damaged - 114 destroyed
  • 751,874.71 cubic yards of debris removed
  • 2,983 stumps removed (diameters larger than two feet)

Along with homes and businesses, a large portion of the City of Tuscaloosa infrastructure was lost:

  • Tuscaloosa Fire and Rescue Station No. 4
  • Tuscaloosa Police Department East precinct
  • Communication Tower
  • Curry Facility which contained Emergency Management and Environmental Services as well as having 25 vehicles totaled.

The city also issued a total 4,091 permits following the tornado as well as 3,418 disaster related permits and 216 commercial permits in a disaster area.

On May 1, 2011 there were 243 registered volunteers in Tuscaloosa and by October 21st, that number jumped to 22,086.

In a recent interview, Tuscaloosa Mayor Walter Maddox told us,

Your city responded during its darkest hours. It responded with courage, it responded with strategic thought, it responded in a way that hopefully makes all of us proud and I know it made me proud, of Tuscaloosa. Tuscaloosa took the response and the recovery very seriously.