Disaster Life

By Tanya Mikulas

UA Tuscaloosa

Class of 2015

On April 27, 2011, at 5:13 PM, an epic tornado destroyed a significant portion of Tuscaloosa, Alabama. I saw this monster with my own eyes from my home, which was only half destroyed, in Forest Lake neighborhood – which was mostly decimated. I lived in the rubble of my neighborhood throughout the entire cleanup process and the beginning of the rebuilding. This was my daily life while I was in graduate school.

May 3, 2011 double rainbow over Forest Lake neighborhood tornado destruction.
Double rainbow over Forest Lake tornado destruction zone. May 3, 2011. Photo by Tanya Mikulas.

My Tornado Diary

Table of Contents

Intro: April 27, 2011
intro page 2
intro page 3
intro page 4
intro page 5

Widespread destruction from the 4/27/2011 Tuscaloosa Tornado. photo by Tanya Mikulas
April 28, 2011. First daylight view of tornado damage at Forest Lake, Tuscaloosa, Alabama. We had fantastic weather, and the air was pine-y fresh.


Chapter 1: The Last 3 Days of April 2011
April 28, 2011
April 29, 2011
April 30, 2011

Night patrol with my 'looters will be shot' sign. Tanya Mikulas, photographer.
Military dudes (and my dog!) ready to back up my ‘looters will be shot’ sign. May 5, 2011.

Chapter 2: May 1
May 2
May 3
May 4
May 5
May 6
May 7
May 8
May 9
May 10
May 11
May 12
May 13
May 14
May 15
May 15 BONUS page, Forest Lake before and after the tornado: a comparison

May 16
May 17
May 18
May 19
May 21
May 22
May 23
May 24

Tanya Mikulas, the sky is visible through a window of a house with no roof after the April 27, 2011 Tuscaloosa Tornado.
Looking through the window of a house with no roof. Photo by Tanya Mikulas 5/31/2011

Some other interesting links from Tanya Mikulas:

2012 Full Moon Emerging Artist Tornado Photos – this gallery is featured by the UA Art department in the 4/27/2016 remembrance issue on the 5th anniversary of the storm.

About Tanya Mikulas, photographer
The UA Arboretum Spring 2012 Archive
who I am, in real life
my blog from the days I lived in Forest Lake after the tornado

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