EF-4 can't destroy spirit in Cordova - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

EF-4 can't destroy spirit in Cordova

A two ton utility tractor was tossed nearly a mile away when a very strong and violent EF-4 tornado touched down near Maple Street in Cordova. This storm which killed at least seven people extended for nine miles, and caused destruction in Cullman, Blount, Pickens, Fayette, Walker and Tuscaloosa Counties.

The destructive tornado began tracking at 3:59 p.m. four miles east of Reform. It moved southeast of Berry and into Cordova across Burton Chapel Loop Road and the Mulberry Fork of the Black Warrior River.

From there it tracked into Sipsey, then northeast into Cullman County. It traveled back into Blount County near Sulphur Springs into Blountsville where it crossed Highway 431. All the while the storm brought down trees, tossed mobile homes and ripped homes from their foundations.

Even as Cordova's downtown was torn to shreds, Mayor Jack Scott told Fox 6's Emily Luxen that the storm could not take the city's hope for the future. Video: Cordova will be back

"We're a strong bunch of people. People know Walker County. We're going to be alright and that's all I can say," Scott said.

Residents echoed this sentiment as they rolled up their sleeves at Cordova High School to pitch in with the relief effort, and what happened was remarkable. The school transformed into a grocery store packed with anything a person could need.  Video: Cordova pulls together after heavy storms

"I can't stop smiling. Either I'm smiling from ear to ear or I'm curled up in a ball crying my eyes out, just unbelievably moved by what's taking place here," Cordova High School Principal Kathy Vinston said. "We've actually accomplished something here I never would've dreamed we would've accomplished with just a group of small town people coming together with one purpose."

A few days after the tornado, volunteer crews moved in bring food and water to the victims, and city workers put up new power poles, trying to get electricity restored in the area. Video: Cordova slowly moving toward rebuilding

The day after the storm, Fox 6 News reporter Jonathan Hardison went up in Chopper 6 to get an aerial view of the damage in Cordova. From that view, Hardison reported that he was able to get a feel for the "strength, the fury and the violence" of the storm that ravaged the area. Video: Aerial Tour of Cullman

In nearby Argo, the damage was just as devastating. Mountain View Lane was one of the hardest hit areas of Argo, where the storm wiped out entire streets and flattened houses. After the storm, residents are working together to help each other clean up and find missing possessions.

The Argo Area Volunteer Fire Department is now home to more clothes, food and ice than fire equipment. Volunteers like Kayla Light have turned the building into a place where storm victims can get help. Video: Argo Fire Department becomes a beacon for tornado victims

"It's just like everyone's house is open, everyone's wallets are open, everyone's gas tanks are running on empty running each other back and forth, but that's just how we do. That's Argo," Light said.

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The Day After in Cordova

Copyright 2011 WBRC. All rights reserved.

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