This Day in History: April 8, 1998 - Deadly F5 Tornado Impacts Birmingham Area

A tornado outbreak brought dozens of tornadoes to parts of the Southeast and Midwest in April of 1998, but one tornado that struck the Birmingham area in Alabama was the strongest of all.

this day in history

A tornado outbreak brought dozens of tornadoes to parts of the Southeast and Midwest in April of 1998, but one tornado that struck the Birmingham area in Alabama was the strongest of all.

The strongest tornado of this outbreak began in the Tuscaloosa County area as a weak tornado, but gained strength quickly as it made its way into Jefferson County.

The storm would hit communities to the west of downtown Birmingham such as Oak Grove, where it destroyed a high school with a head-on impact.

Other communities such as Rock Creek, Concord, Pleasant Grove and Sylvan Springs would face the brunt of the storm with heavy damage, destruction and fatalities.

Power outages caused by the storm were even seen on camera during long-form severe weather coverage at local television outlets.

The storm would continue to cause deadly destruction through places like Edegwater, McDonald Chapel and Pratt City. Forecasters say that if the tornado had remained on the ground beyond this, it could have impacted downtown Birmingham and the Birmingham International Airport.

This storm would claim 32 lives in all, and a second F2 tornado on the same day killed 2 in Pell City in St. Clair, County.


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