On April 27th, 2011, a tornado with winds of 195 mph cut a path of destruction one and a half miles wide and over 80 miles long from Tuscaloosa to Birmingham leaving 65 people dead and over 1,000 injured.  In that single day a total of 62 tornadoes ravaged Alabama, causing 253 fatalities and hundreds of millions of dollars in property damage. Early morning tornadoes knocked out communications across large areas leaving many people unaware as a second wave of tornadoes moved across the state. This communications failure led the National Weather Service to change how the public is alerted to severe weather events. 

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Encyclopedia of Alabama