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KICKOFF COUNTDOWN

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Bama In Atlanta shared The University of Alabama's photo. ...

Six years ago today at 5:13 p.m., an EF4 tornado struck Tuscaloosa leaving death and destruction in its path. While the tornado spared the UA campus, its impact on the University was severe. Today at 5:13 p.m. Denny Chimes will sound 53 times in honor of those who died in Tuscaloosa County, including six UA students and one UA employee. At that time, please pause to remember their lives and reflect upon the legacy they left us. Alabama Governor Kay Ivey has declared today a “Day of Remembrance.” Flags across the state are lowered to half-staff in honor of those who lost their lives in the storms of April 27, 2011. We remember April 27.

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All of our hearts are in Tuscaloosa today. #TTownNeverDown #AlabamaStrong ...

SIX YEARS AGO TODAY: I still don't have the words to describe the generational tornado outbreak of April 27, 2011. In Alabama, 62 tornadoes touched down. A total of 252 were killed, over one thousand more injured. Pulitzer Prize-winning author Rick Bragg is a gifted writer, and his words in Southern Living written after that horrible day perhaps are appropriate: "Where the awful winds bore down, massive oaks, 100 years old, were shoved over like stems of grass, and great pines, as big around as 55-gallon drums, snapped like sticks. Church sanctuaries, built on the Rock of Ages, tumbled into random piles of brick. Houses, echoing with the footfalls of generations, came apart, and blew away like paper. Whole communities, carefully planned, splintered into chaos. Restaurants and supermarkets, gas stations and corner stores, all disintegrated, glass storefronts scattered like diamonds on black asphalt. It was as if the very curve of the Earth was altered, horizons erased altogether, the landscape so ruined and unfamiliar that those who ran from this thing, some of them, could not find their way home. We are accustomed to storms, here where the cool air drifts south to collide with the warm, rising damp from the Gulf, where black clouds roil and spin and unleash hell on Earth. But this was different, a gothic monster off the scale of our experience and even our imagination, a thing of freakish size and power that tore through state after state and heart after Southern heart, killing hundreds, hurting thousands, even affecting, perhaps forever, how we look at the sky."

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