FIVE YEARS LATER: Remembering April 27, 2011

David Guthrie

CULLMAN – April 27, 2011 is a day that we will never forget, when tornadoes ripped through Alabama and right through the heart of our beloved Cullman, destroying homes, businesses and churches, cars and large swathes of our beautiful green canopy.

Devastation. Sadness. Fear. Uncertainty. All words that describe that day.

But then…Empathy. Love. Helpfulness. Gratitude. Community. All words that describe the moments and days after April 27, 2011. Even now.

In our printed pages tomorrow, we are letting our readers tell their stories and share their photos of that day.

Healing. A word that describes what we’ve been doing as a family these past five years and what we are still doing, and tomorrow's issue is a part of that process.


Here's a preview:

My Story: Katy Dutton

During the tornado I was helping to take care of my very ill grandfather. He had to be on oxygen 24/7. Thankfully, someone loaned us a generator. My grandmother and I worked just to keep my grandfather alive by keeping the generator going and to keep it full of gas. Our hands were so raw from all the gas and pulling that generator cord all the time.
One night, my grandmother and I were so tired and we both broke down and began crying because our hands and shoulders hurt so bad. Out of nowhere a police officer showed up and helped us get the generator started. I do not know his name, but his act of kindness gave me the strength and motivation to keep going and keep trying.

Betty BJ Hicks (Katy’s grandmother): You helped us so much Katy bug!

Katy Dutton: I love you Maw Maw.

Betty BJ Hicks: Randy and Sherri Frost. Also, Sue, Sherri's mom was where the generator came from. Ken and Sandra Allen brought food to us so we could stay with your pawpaw.

Katy Dutton: The outpouring of love was phenomenal. We all really came together as a community.

Be sure to pick up Thursday's special issue of The Cullman Tribune!


Lead photo courtesy of reader David Guthrie.