Imagine destruction unlike you have ever seen before; houses ripped from their foundation, cars being thrown huge distances and all of your personal mementos being sucked up and spewed out miles away.
This doesn't even begin to describe the damage and destruction seen in Alabama when tornadoes struck on April 27th of this year. I recently drove through the areas that are mere splinters where houses once stood, and it leaves you nothing but speechless.
Did you know you cannot rate a tornado by looking at it? In order to determine the EF0-EF5 ratings that tornadoes are given, specialists at the National Weather Service must go out and evaluate tornado damage after the storm has passed. Through hard work with engineers, meteorologists are then able to rate the strength of the tornado based on the damage they discover.
That being said, the damage in Alabama is still being evaluated. There's simply too much to search through. Earlier this week, the NWS declared a previously rated EF-4 tornado in DeKalb County Alabama was being upgraded to EF-5 status.
This upgrade puts Alabama's total for F-5 and EF-5 (the rating scale was upgraded to be more accurate a few years ago) tornadoes at seven. Before this upgraded rating, Alabama was tied with Texas, Oklahoma, Iowa and Kansas at six F-5 or EF-5 tornadoes.
61 tornadoes hit Alabama that day, and the fatalities have risen to 241 in Alabama alone.