All Weather News

Alabama School Re-Opens Four Years After Tornado Destroyed It


An Alabama school destroyed in an EF-5 tornado over four years ago re-opened its doors this week to over 250 students.

The small town of Hackleburg, Alabama, located in the northwest corner of the state, was one of the hardest hit locations during the April 27th, 2011 tornado outbreak that killed over 300 people, mostly in Alabama. Eighteen Hackleburg residents were killed in the tornado, which destroyed approximately three-quarters of the town. However, not a single student died, almost assuredly at least a partial result of Marion County Superintendent Ryan Hollingsworth’s decision to send students home early on that fateful day.

However, the town of 1,400 people’s two schools were destroyed, forcing students to attend classes in portable schools ever since. The high school’s Class of 2015 spent their entire high school career in portable classrooms, and third-graders hadn’t spent a day in a proper classroom. Until Tuesday.

The town’s high school and elementary school opened their doors for the first time on Tuesday and now, according to, the students at Hackleburg High School will have a “state of the art” gym along with wi-fi and smart boards.

Our best wishes and happy thoughts to the folks in Hackleburg as they start their new school year!

Meteorologist Chris Bianchi – Photo: National Weather Service, Birmingham, Alabama

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