On this day in Alabama history: Moundville tornado killed dozens

On this day in Alabama history: Moundville tornado killed dozens
Path of the tornado at Moundville, Jan. 22, 1904. (www.weather.gov)

January 22, 1904

On the night of Jan. 21, a storm blew into Moundville from the southwest, bringing moderate to heavy rains and gusty winds. But shortly after 1 a.m., a “funnel-shaped cloud, which had a phosphorescent glow and emitted blinding flashes of light” descended on the Hale County town. “Everything in the tornado’s path was swept aside” according to one account. “Great giants of the forest were twisted, bent and broken,” reported The Birmingham News the following day. The final, grim tally put the number of dead at 36, with 150 injured. Some victims were carried over 200 yards by the killer twister. Nearly 40 frame structures were destroyed. The town’s Griffin Hotel was “flattened” along with the town’s train depot, numerous homes, a grist mill and a livery stable. The tornado also wreaked havoc in the nearby, now-extinct hamlet of Hull, and debris was discovered as far as the village of Tidewater in Tuscaloosa County, about 19 miles to the northeast.

Read more at the National Weather Service

For more on Alabama’s Bicentennial, visit Alabama 200.

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