WeatherMatrix (Jesse Ferrell)

Before and after photos show Alabama tornado destruction

By Jesse Ferrell
3/11/2019, 1:59:43 PM

Wed, Mar 6, 2019 12:26 PM

Sunday afternoon, the radar started looking very severe and multiple warnings, including confirmed tornadoes, were crawling across Alabama:

I knew, just looking at the radar, that the damage was going to be severe. The rotation area was huge! Among 39 tornadoes on Sunday, one EF4 twister tore through Alabama for nearly 70 miles, as wide as nearly 1 mile, centered near the town of Beauregard, and (blessedly) passing north of the metro Columbus, Georgia, area.

tornado track alabama ef4

This tornado devastated many homes. On Monday, I used Google Maps, an Associated Press photo, and a pic snapped by Reed Timmer to create the following before-and-after animation. From the ground, it's unrecognizable as the same place. From the air, only the pool remains.

The house and trailer were both lifted from their foundation and deposited in the woods. Reed Timmer was live on-site Monday morning and says that three people survived in these structures, though they were thrown into the woods as well.

Further west in the tornado's track, Google has uploaded new 360 photos into Street View within about a mile of 820 Lee Road 39, Opelika, Alabama. Using the Street View calendar, I was able to compare 2014 views to those after the tornado. The destruction is nearly complete:

Twenty-three people were killed by the Beauregard tornado, a number more than twice last year's deaths. It was the first EF4 in nearly two years in the United States. A rare EF3 tornado also struck the Florida Panhandle.

tornado outbreak 3819 alabama

The Beauregard area was hit again 30 minutes later by an EF2 tornado -- their tracks were right next to each other!

The views expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of AccuWeather, Inc. or


Comments that don't add to the conversation may be automatically or manually removed by Facebook or AccuWeather. Profanity, personal attacks, and spam will not be tolerated.

WeatherMatrix (Jesse Ferrell)