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Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The Deep South Tornado Outbreak - 1932

I remember my Memma and Granddaddy talking about the tornado outbreak of 1932 that produced tornadoes from Texas to South Carolina and as far north as Illinois.  Alabama was hardest-hit; over 332 people were killed in the Deep South outbreak.  Memma and Grandaddy lived in Boxes Cove then and that area was hit hard.  They told about the mail carrier (who delivered mail by riding a horse with a mail bag strapped to him) coming to their house on the horse to see if they were okay. Memma said it was pouring rain and they were fearful that another tornado would strike.  The mail carrier told them that a family in the head of the cove was hurt really bad and that some of the family had been blown into the trees.  Grandaddy hitched up his horses to a wagon and he and the mail carrier braved the weather to get to the family and get them out.  They had to take several of he family members to Scottsboro to the hospital.  Can you imagine?  Carrying the injured out in a wagon?  I think about 332 people were killed that year and 268 of those were in Alabama.  Alabama was hit again in 1974 and 1989.
Having lived through that, I can tell you, everytime it thundered at my Grandparent's house, we all had to take cover.  My Great-Grandmother had a storm cellar. I think that we went down into her cellar many times.  Sometimes, my Granddaddy would make us go to the bathroom until the storm passed.   A family in Larkinsville also had a storm cellar.  I can remember half of Larkinsville piling into that storm cellar on occasion.

You ask why Alabama is hit so much?  I read that the Gulf air has something to do with it.  It seems that the same thing that happened in 1974 happened this time..with the heat --the sun coming out, and then the cool air.  I don't know---but 1932, 1974, 1989, 2011 and there was something that happened in 1936 as well.  What does this mean?

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