On April 27, 2011, a 1+ mile-wide (1.6 wedge tornado gouged a 6-mile path of destruction through Tuscaloosa, annihilating businesses and entire neighborhoods. With wind speeds in excess of 200 mph (>322km/h), the tornado is classifiable as an EF5, falling into the most destructive category yet identified by meteorologists. Roughly 6,000 homes fell in the direct path of the tornado, while perhaps 15,000 homes were damaged, according to Tuscaloosa mayor Walt Maddox. At least 45 people in Tuscaloosa lost their lives; at the time of this post, hundreds still remain missing. km),
The storm cell that enveloped Tuscaloosa is part of a record season of tornadic activity in the US, responsible for at least 174 tornados to date. In the state of Alabama alone hundreds are dead and missing, and hundreds of thousands of homes are still without power.