This is the view of the Pleasant Grove, AL Tornado (April 27,2011) from my front porch. The super excited woman is the mother of a boy we babysit. Their home was completely destroyed by this tornado, but because they were at my house a mile away, they were OK. Had I know what I was videoing, I’m not sure I would have stayed out there. — corcoranp
PLEASANT GROVE, Ala. – Updated 8:41amDozens of tornadoes spawned by a powerful storm system wiped out entire towns across a wide swath of the South, killing at least 197 people, and officials said Thursday they expect the death toll to rise.
Alabama’s state emergency management agency said it had confirmed 131 deaths, (I’m sure this number in AL is higher or will be) while there were 32 in Mississippi, 15 in Tennessee, 11 in Georgia and eight in Virginia.
“We were in the bathroom holding on to each other and holding on to dear life,” said Samantha Nail, who lives in a blue-collar subdivision in the Birmingham suburb of Pleasant Grove where the storm slammed heavy pickup trucks into ditches and obliterated tidy brick houses, leaving behind a mess of mattresses, electronics and children’s toys scattered across a grassy plain where dozens used to live. “If it wasn’t for our concrete walls, our home would be gone like the rest of them.”
The deaths mark the largest toll from tornado activity since 1947, reports Strassmann.