Bronze plaque memorial placed to remember April 27 victims - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Bronze plaque memorial placed to remember April 27 victims

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Memorial for April 27 tornado victims. Memorial for April 27 tornado victims.

Patches of grass and wildflowers now grow on a lot where a house once stood in the Anderson Hills subdivision in Harvest.

Just a few feet away, what used to be a homeowner's indoor swimming pool is now a pile of cement foundations that lay idle along Maverick Drive.

They are signs of what happened two years ago on April 27, when a tornado outbreak of historic proportions swept through Alabama. 

In the days leading up to the anniversary, homeowners who rebuilt their houses and community leaders who organized the response and recovery process, still remember April 27 vividly.

"To see what we went through during those days and to recover as fast as we did, is super in itself," Madison County Commission Chairman Dale Strong said.

Strong was commissioner of Madison County's 4th district at the time, an area hit hard by the storms.

"We didn't look to the federal government to prop us up. We did it ourselves. We went out there and the community said, what can we do?"

Strong said the response was second-to-none, saying up to 3,000 volunteers offered to help almost immediately at a time when roughly 475,000 homes and businesses were without power for nearly two weeks.

350 homes in the Harvest, Toney and Monrovia communities were destroyed, according to Strong.

The death toll in Madison County was nine people.

A memorial in their honor has been placed about a mile away from Anderson Hills. 

The bronze plaque sits just below a flagpole at the Harvest Square Preserve Park, located next to the Publix shopping center on Highway 53 near Jeff Road.

The words "we remember" are inscribed above the names of those who died.

Contractor Robert Flowers remembers the day the storms passed through, but he also recalls the tornado that damaged homes in Anderson Hills in 1995. 

Flowers said some homeowners decided to leave after the April 27th storms, but others decided to rebuild.

"They are staying. Some of them were here before the 1995 tornado and they persevered through," Flowers said. 

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