EF4 Tornado and How We Survived That

MayDay 2011

MayDay 2011

M'aidez 2011

M’aidez 2011

This page is being created because the 2015 spring tornado season, and the approaching 4th anniversary, are on my mind. Please review your state’s severe weather safety information. We were in a direct hit from an EF4 tornado on 4.27.11, as described in the following links. All photos and text in these links are by Leah Alford:

The storm itself and the aftermath:


The 3rd anniversary:


During spring 2014 (mostly enjoyable stuff), another blinkin’ tornadic storm tries to get us in another location:



12 Responses to EF4 Tornado and How We Survived That

  1. Pingback: Walk Through The Web Wednesday 10/5/16 – Feline Opines-The world from a feline point of view

  2. Ellen Hawley says:

    When I lived in Minneapolis, I was at first terrified by tornado warnings, then gradually (like most people in the city) learned to ignore them. I was lucky, but I have to say in hindsight that it was really, really stupid.

    • Catwoods says:

      We were pretty much the same way, Ellen. We took a few precautions at first, but after years of alerts with no hits to us, although they did hit around us, we didn’t take the warnings very seriously. Fortunately the weather persons warned us early that 4.27.11 would be a bad day, and the day just felt eerie, so we were prepared. I’m glad you were never hit by one while in Minneapolis!

  3. I have never seen a tornado “in person,” but I have seen videos. I would be so scared if I saw something like that coming my way! So much power to destroy!

    • Catwoods says:

      I’ve never actually seen a tornado either, although we’ve been through a zillion alerts. As soon as we learned there was one coming our way, we took cover, with little time to spare. They can change direction so anyone who sees one, even if it seems to be going another way, should IMO take cover. Many videos have been made safely – although a year or so back some professional storm chasers died in a storm – and I may seem extra jumpy on this topic, but after being in one, I’m forever edgy about severe weather. Thank you so much for visiting!

  4. We were in Lexington Kentucky that day and we had three tornado warnings and spent several hours in a tornado shelter. It was a harrowing day and we were lucky. We didn’t get hit. I will never forget that day. We installed a tornado shelter in our home in Manitoba. We are at the north end of tornado alley and we have only had an F5 here once in recorded history but all it takes is one.

    • Catwoods says:

      Thank you for posting about your experiences on that day, tumbleweedstumbling! It changed us both forever and doesn’t seem to wear off, no matter how much time passes. I think you are wise to have built the tornado shelter! I notice all reports of tornado weather and tornadoes everywhere now, so I had become aware that they happen in Canada, too.

      • I wrote about our tornado shelter in my blog starting here https://tumbleweedstumbling.wordpress.com/2015/08/09/adding-a-tornado-shelter/
        but i should issue a discomfort warning. We spend the winters in Florida and we travel up and down in spring and fall tornado season. I have become a really big fan of understanding weather and being prepared. I joined a local tornado chasers group because they constantly share updates and often give more information than the weather stations. I have also been through your area of Alabama and Alabama is just so lovely in spring!

        • Catwoods says:

          Very interesting series of posts about building the shelter. I also looked at the photos of that supercell t-storm and I must say, unsettling, to say the least! Good on you for joining the storm chasers. If we were younger and healthier, we might have done something like that, or maybe made career changes into design of safe structures for tornado areas. Also might have considered moving. Although tornadoes have occurred in every contiguous US state, the deep South region has a very high risk. Although I have to agree, it’s very beautiful here in spring!

  5. Laura says:

    Hi, Catwood! I am a fellow lover of cats and writing and nature. I also have a debilitating desease (Parkinson’s). I love your blog…

    • Catwoods says:

      Hi Laura, it’s good to meet you! Looks like we have lots of common ground! Sorry to hear about your Parkinson’s. Thank you so much for stopping by and your kind words about my blog. I am enjoying visiting yours, and look forward to looking around there more when time opens up.

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