Hackleburg Tornado: Then and Now

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Hackleburg Tornado: Then and Now

When a tornado ripped through Hackleburg, Alabama, one year ago today it not only killed dozens of people but demolished 75% of the small town’s buildings, including the two-block downtown district and the largest employer, a Wrangler Jean distribution center. Many residents complained about feeling ignored in the days after the storm and to this day some feel the recovery has been too slow. WBHM’s Tanya Ott spent time in Hackleburg immediately following last year’s storm. You can hear her report for NPR by clicking here.

Last week she returned to Hackleburg to check up on the rebuilding efforts.


One of the major keys to rebuilding Hackleburg is getting the largest employer, VF Corporation (owner of the Wrangler Jean distribution center) up and running again. VF is currently rebuilding their plant, with an eye to opening in 2013. In the meantime, they’re working out of a nearby temporary facility. Tanya Ott talked with two top VF officials about their decision to rebuild.