The Disaster

General Information | Town History | The Disaster | The Recovery Effort | Help the Town

On April 27, 2011, the town of Phil Campbell was significantly damaged by a very powerful tornado during one of the worst tornado outbreaks in United States history.  The tornado that hit the town was at times up to 1.25 miles wide and was classified as an EF-5 with 210 mph winds. The storm damaged or destroyed more than 400 structures. Three-fourths of the businesses, all restaurants, the schools, most municipal facilities, and four churches — including Phil Campbell’s oldest church First United Methodist — were damaged or destroyed.  Twenty seven people living in and around the city of Phil Campbell lost their lives because of the tornado; a total of 238 Alabamians died from tornado injuries.  On this page is an extensive interview on the tornado outbreak with Alabama's most popular meteorologist James Spann.