April 15th, 2011 was a day of death & destruction across the Gulf Coast States...primarily Mississippi & Alabama...as a strong storm system blasted across the South. That day, there were more than 450 severe weather reports (which includes damaging wind, hail, and tornadoes) across the South & as far north as Illinois. Mississippi and Alabama were hit the hardest with over 100 tornado reports just between the two states.
Locally, our part of the Gulf Coast took a beating from those storms. After surveying the damage, the National Weather Service confirmed that a long track EF-3 tornado (at its highest rating) tore through areas from near Leakesville, Mississippi to Deer Park, Alabama. The twister damaged nearly 100 homes in Mississippi alone (some completely destroyed)...with even more homes damaged or destroyed as the tornado moved towards Deer Park. Unfortunately, this violent tornado took four lives that day and injured others. Also, there was over 11 million dollars in property damage caused by that particular twister.
Several other tornadoes rolled across our local area that day...including the counties of Clarke, Monroe, Washington, Escambia, and extreme northern Mobile County. Those also left a trail of damage and caused a few additional injuries.
April 15th is a day we'll never forget.
Meteorologist Deitra Tate