When Hackleburg took a direct hit by an EF-5 tornado during the Wednesday, April 27, 2011, super tornado outbreak, people from around the nation found ways to help. According to Hackleburg Fire Chief Steve Hood, two fire departments in particular--one from Mississippi’s Gulf Coast and another from a suburb of Pittsburg, Penn.-- provided exemplary aide. Yesterday (Tuesday, April 27), marked 10 years since the disaster, which left 25 dead across Marion County.
April 27, 2011 was just one day of a multi-day outbreak.
I was helping a photographer friend from Tuscaloosa shoot a wedding in St. Louis. We drove up from Tuscaloosa in the days and before April 27 and ran into storms in Arkansas and we stopped to take some pictures there. We made it to St. Louis and were staying at a hotel near the airport when the airport got hit by a tornado. We took pics near that area the next day.
Mike Kastner never planned to serve in international relief, but 10 years after the storm, that’s exactly where he now finds himself.
Kastner was one of a handful of American Red Cross volunteers in Marion County after the April 27, 2011, EF-5 tornado tore through the area, killing 25. He says his experience as a small contributor in the disaster relief efforts in Hamilton and Hackleburg gave him a passion for aid work.
HACKLEBURG - “It’s amazing how in nine years how many people have moved on to different things in their lives,” says Hackleburg Mayor Darryl Colburn as he sits behind his desk at Hackleburg Town Hall.
Details of Wednesday, April 27, 2011, and the years of work that followed flowed effortlessly from Colburn’s memory during a discussion with town councilman Don Barnwell. There was no effort reproducing stories, either, for Barnwell.