Dade And Jackson Counties Better Prepared For Tornadoes
All this week we have been revisiting the communities that were hit the hardest by the devastating tornadoes on April 27, 2011.
Most have recovered from unprecedented damage and loss of life from northeastern Alabama to Polk county Tennessee.
We go to Dade county Georgia, and Jackson county Alabama where many of the storms formed.
The Dade county Emergency Management Agency was expecting trouble on April 27..they had seen the radar…and it didn’t take them long to see they were going to have a long day. This is damage to Dade Elementary School at 8 o’clock that morning. No one was hurt.
ALEX CASE, DIR., DADE COUNTY EMA “We did have a system in place at that time that was a mass notification for weather warnings.”
That telephone warning system is still being used effectively.
But there were two other tornado attacks that day–the last around 6pm.
Two people died when that twister destroyed dozens of homes , Moore funeral home and two apartment complexes.
TED RUMLEY “Our grandmothers telling us that we were protected ..and you know don’t have to really worry about tornadoes in the valley, you know “. “..that’s proven totally wrong.”
Dade county residents rallied quickly.
ALEX CASE ” The volunteers organizations from our faith-based, Methodist, Baptist, it didn’t matter what denomination.”
Ted Rumley says money from the SPLOST program will be used to build storm shelters when it becomes available.
Jackson county Alabama–just west of Dade county was hammered by tornadoes all day.
FELIX JACKSON, DEPUTY DIR., JACKSON COUNTY EMA “We had 3 cities with fatalities…which was Bridgeport, Flatrock and Pisgah. ..but it affected the entire county.”
And so were most other communities.
FELIX JACKSON “That day–we have 67 counties in the state of Alabama and 47 of those were affected.”
There’s a Code Red weather alert system now in place–a free service the county pays for per year.
And, there’s added protection for students.
FELIX JACKSON “We have got community safe rooms in every one of the schools, now the shelters for students in each county school.”
The Jackson county EMA is warning people to get prepared early for such storms in the future. In the April 2011 tornadoes power was off for a week .