April 27th: One Year Later

Devastating tornadoes ripped through the South and impacted communities in Alabama, Tennessee, and here in Georgia one year ago today.

Tornado That Came Through Chattanooga Valley (Picture taken 3.8 miles away from tornado) via Walker County Messenger

April 27, 2011 has gone down in the record books for having the most tornadoes spawned within a 24-hour period since weather records were kept.  A total of 209 confirmed twisters touched down that day.  A year later, many people are still recovering from the damage.  Most of the communities in the area are back with few signs of that fateful day, but there are still reminders across the area.  Trees are still down in a lot of the rural areas, blue tarps still hang over damaged roofs, and there are a few damaged buildings still marked by rescue teams that have been abandoned by owners and yet to be torn down in Ringgold.

A year later, we’re pretty much back to our normal lives, but we’re still skittish when the skies get dark and the wind blows hard.  A year later, we reflect upon that day and are thankful that we survived.  April 27, 2011 is a day that I hope to never relive.


Here’s a statement from Congressman Tom Graves’ office on the tornadoes that struck the area:

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Tom Graves (R-GA-09) released the following statement one year to the day after a series of devastating tornadoes swept through north Georgia.  The storms struck Dade, Walker, Pickens, and Catoosa counties, killing 11 people and causing tens of millions of dollars in property damage.  A total of 76 people across Georgia, Alabama, and Tennessee died as a result of the storms on April 27, 2011.

“One year after these storms devastated our communities and forever changed our lives; the people of north Georgia have once again shown their strength, determination, and resilience.  Georgians pulled themselves out of the wreckage, rose up, and rebuilt.  While I know the wounds are still fresh for many, and that the families will truly never fully recover from the loved ones we lost on that day, the recovery efforts are a testimony to the character and resolve of the people of north Georgia.  Please know that Julie and my thoughts and prayers are with everyone in the 9thDistrict as we mark this anniversary today.”



  1. Thanks for posting this Nathan. Every time we drive to Blairsville to visit my wife’s family we see some of the damage on Blood mountain. It reminds us of that day and the devastating power of those storms.

    • Nathan says:

      There’s a path that was made by the tornado in the picture above about a hundred yards away (I think we were just barely in the funnel…at least it seemed like that with the wind and rain whipping around) from the house. I go through there every day going to work. It’s normal to me now, but sometimes I just think about the power of it and thankful that we we didn’t get any damage from it.

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