Sylacauga

| March 3, 2007 @ 10:39 pm | 3 Replies

I spent Saturday at the beautiful B.B. Comer Library in Sylacauga. The historic town is about 50 miles southeast of Birmingham in Talladega County. The visit was in response to an email that I received from Nelda Vogel. Her husband is John Vogel, the owner of radio station WYEA in Sylacauga. WYEA is one of our partner radio stations.

He had passed last week’s post about the 1932 tornado outbreak. Nelda is the Systems Librarian at the fantastic library. Dr. Shirley Spears is the Director. Nelda hooked me up with Bettye Lessley, who is the historian for the library. This neat lady was just short of her second birthday when the blackest day in Alabama weather history happened: That date: Monday, March 21, 1932.

Bettye has extensive knowledge of the tornado that hit Sylacauga at 7 p.m. that day, killing 22 people. She knows nearly every inch of that town, every house, every building, and most of the people. She showed me articles, photos and slides and shared a wonderful video with me that was done a few years ago. The video was of several survivors of the tornado. They told their stories on video.

I had the best time learning all about the people and places that make Sylacauga one of Alabama’s most interesting places. I will share more about Sylacauga and its place in Alabama’s weather history during the week of the 75th anniversary of the outbreak.
If you have any stories about any of the tornadoes that day, including the ones that struck Northport, Columbiana, Paint Rock or Chilton or Marengo Counties just to name a few, please give me a call at (205) 602-7249.

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About the Author ()

Bill Murray is the President of The Weather Factory. He is the site's official weather historian and a weekend forecaster. He also anchors the site's severe weather coverage. Bill Murray is the proud holder of National Weather Association Digital Seal #0001 @wxhistorian

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