Remembering the Tuscaloosa Tornado of December 16th, 2000

I was on vacation in Gatlingburg, TN on this event. I remember getting a call on my cell from Tuscaloosa Skywarn saying that they had activated. I immediatly turned on the news luckily i found a station that was showing some coverage (not wall to wall). It was a horrible thing to watch not knowing what was going on.

I later learned my family was in Tuscaloosa that day but they were at the University mall not even realizing anything was going on. When I talked to them later said how hot it was that day and figured it would be a bad day.

This was a turning point for me. I had participated in SKYWARN but it was mostly just so i could listen on my ham radio. After this event I voluntered with the Tuscaloosa County EMA and Tuscaloosa SKYWARN which later lead to some storm spotting. This event made me realize how vital SKYWARN is. The reports passed that day probably saved many lives.

When I moved to Birminham I immediatly joined the ALERT group. Their role is different from what I was used to in Tuscaloosa. They actually go to the NWS and facilitate communication with Storm Spotters and their office. I’m still involed with this group to this day.

Below I’m providing some audio and video links to this event they did a great job!

http://www.alert-alabama.org and click on SKYWARN Audio.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G3Jyqy7qhsQ