From The Archives: Year in Review of the 2011 tornado outbreak
CHATTANOOGA (WDEF) – This is the week we usually spend reflecting back on the previous year.
Ten years ago, it was obvious what was the biggest story of the year here in the Tennessee Valley… the tornado outbreak of April 27th.
Of course, tornadoes are very timely right now.
An EF-1 storm hit Rainsville Wednesday night, damaging buildings and knocking out power.
But one of the tornadoes from 2011 absolutely devastated Rainsville and killed dozens of people.
In fact, that outbreak was even worse than the one we just saw in Kentucky and Tennessee.
More twisters were formed that day than ever before in U.S. history.
There were a total of 15 EF 4-5 tornadoes (the most powerful categories) that swept the southeast that day, killing hundreds.
It took several days for teams to even reach many small towns in north Alabama that were almost wiped off the map.
Tuscaloosa was also hit hard as an EF-4 tornado swept through student housing at the University of Alabama.
In our area, the high school in Rainsville was destroyed, 18 wheelers blown over on I 75 and a path of devastation carved out from Ringgold to Cleveland.
Here is our look back at what happened and where from the most damaging weather event on record for the Tennessee Valley.