Record 178 tornadoes from South storms
The storms caused 327 deaths, making it the 3rd deadliest tornado outbreak in U.S.
May 4th, 2011
05:45 PM ET

Record 178 tornadoes from South storms

At least 178 tornadoes were part of the severe weather that raked 14 states April 27-28, making it the largest tornado outbreak in U.S. history, the National Weather Service said Wednesday.

The number of twisters surpassed the previous record of 148 tornadoes April 3-4, 1974, the Weather Service said.

The April 27-28 outbreak caused 327 deaths, making it the 3rd deadliest tornado outbreak in U.S. history, behind outbreaks in 1925 and 1932, with 747 deaths and 332 deaths respectively.

People living in tornado-afflicted areas of the South are still sharing stories of personal loss and images of destroyed homes, fallen trees, and demolished neighborhoods with CNN iReport. Their stories dot the South in a map and timeline, as shown in CNN iReport’s Open Story, a collaborative method of telling the story of an event.

Josh Spurgin sat on the steps of his home in Higdon, Alabama, which sat in shambles a day after a tornado destroyed it. The 23-year-old lost almost everything. Many homes in his neighborhood are gone and some of his neighbors died in the tornado. Besides the support of his family and friends, he’s turned to humor for a bit of relief in this otherwise dark situation. He joked with funnyman Michael Ian Black and "Funny or Die" comedian Brian Lynch when they responded to his tweets about the storms.

When the town of Ringgold, Georgia, reopened its streets for a brief afternoon on May 1, resident Gail Murphy was blown away by the devastation. The mass destruction had happened just 6 miles from her home.

"The downtown area is very badly damaged along with the schools and lots of other homes and businesses. This has been unbelievable to witness with my own eyes and I thought I had pretty much seen it all," she said.

Do you live in the region and are you trying to move forward after the tornados? Share your story with CNN iReport.

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Filed under: iReport • Tornadoes • Weather
soundoff (60 Responses)
  1. Rita

    As a nurse having seen many of the first people to hit the emergency room doors after the storm, all one needs to have to do is to look at a precious one year old girl followed by an 18 month old baby, both covered with mud and dead on arrival; this has been devastating for not only our city but our entire state, but the outpouring of relief and love from so many thousands has been nothing short of phenomenal; many that lost homes were very poor, not being able to afford insurance; it will be a very long rebuilding process for them; as followers of Christ, we have tried to minister to their basic needs and will continue to do so; i have never seen so many thousands of people come together to help one another as i have thru this; i know not only has my life changed but humbled; it only takes seeing these things for a few minutes to help one get things in perspective; my deepest appreciation to every single person who has contributed in any way in helping us recover; we will be eternally grateful to you.

    May 4, 2011 at 4:52 pm | Report abuse |
  2. his little secret

    i live in arkansas. one of the states that was hit. fortunally enough my family and me are safe. most of the tornados that hit were at night. and it took many lives with them rangin from infants to the elderly. one tornado almost completely whipped out one of our towns. im grateful to still have a home and my life

    May 4, 2011 at 5:21 pm | Report abuse |
  3. his little secret

    @ rita ann dont nobody give a sh!t about yo brother either. that was his dumb decision. so move around b!tch. hope he havin fun in hell

    May 4, 2011 at 5:25 pm | Report abuse |
  4. nagrad

    @ the people who said this isn't a sign of climate change, because the '74 tornado season was worse: Yeah right. 20% more tornadoes in these two days in April than the 1974 season. 1/5 more. That's not a small difference, thats huge. If you think the climate isn't changing, go talk to the people in Tuscaloosa.

    May 4, 2011 at 5:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Turp Griswald

      Sadly, it's the people in those 'Red' States that are the least likely to embrace alternative energy sources or demand higher energy efficiency in cars, appliances, etcetera. May God help them – they won't help themselves.

      May 4, 2011 at 6:06 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Malakas

    I SIMPLY CAN'T AFFORD HEALTH INSURANCE FOR ME AND MY FAMILY! THE CHEAPEST QUOTE I GOT WAS $1182 FOR MY FAMILY OF 3. ARE THEY INSANE???!!! THAT'S MORE THAN A MORTGAGE PAYMENT!!!

    May 4, 2011 at 5:43 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Anon

    "Gail Murphy was blown away by the devastation." Errr poor choice of words. Anyhow, I can't even imagine living through that. God Bless everyone who lives there. Natural disasters are unfortunate and uncontrollable forces. To those who are safe, I'm glad.

    May 4, 2011 at 6:02 pm | Report abuse |
  7. his little secret

    shut up riza atta. if you dont like america go home. and speak ya native language. nobody asked you to come over her tax free!!! you must forget americans are takin care of yu. so shut up and go home.let the door knob hit you were the GOOD LORD split ya. and i dont mean ya mouth

    May 4, 2011 at 6:05 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Linari

    Riza, your precious brother is dead because he died listening to morons like ObL and ran a murder/suicide mission. What you should have said to your precious brother is "hey, don't get on that plane, I love you". My only question is why aren't you going on your own suicide mission, by yourself...like maybe jumping off the bridge you live under. Troll ass moron.

    May 4, 2011 at 6:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Wzrd1

      What is funny is that this idiot will quite likely get onto a DHS watch list AND the Canadian equivalent. Possibly a visit from the local national security agency as well.

      May 4, 2011 at 6:53 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Riza Atta

    The DHS the NSA are to stupid I care sh!t about them, they can kiss my ass, I can crap all over your country and no one can touch me

    May 4, 2011 at 7:32 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Riza Atta

    I'm very proud of what my brother did to you idiots, I'm going to pray for him now, he's with all the crap he killed, how disgusting

    May 4, 2011 at 7:35 pm | Report abuse |
  11. MrMailman

    Jesus is angry!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    May 4, 2011 at 7:48 pm | Report abuse |
  12. shut ur mouth

    Screw u riza atta if we r all crap y da hell u come to r lands u dum b****

    May 4, 2011 at 7:55 pm | Report abuse |
  13. paul

    We need to stop this

    May 4, 2011 at 8:24 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Sunshine Girl *

    I HATE THE SOUTH!!!!! Me and my girlfriend will not go there for vacation. GO CALI!!!

    May 4, 2011 at 8:34 pm | Report abuse |
  15. my weener

    Is my best friend! did the blackies get the tar blown off em? what part of monkeybama do y'all live?

    May 4, 2011 at 8:36 pm | Report abuse |
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