Remembering the 1992 Tornado, Part 1

This weekend marks the 21-year anniversary of a powerful F-3 tornado that ripped through Southern Lauderdale County.

"March 10, 1992 is etched in my mind and will be etched in my mind for the rest of my life," MPD Assistant Chief Buck Roberts says.

The tornado with winds between 158-206 miles per hour tore through Southern Lauderdale County, damaging or destroying 216 homes.

"I knew we were under a tornado watch until 1 a.m., and I just laid down and a big clap of thunder hit," Roberts recalls. "I got up and turned my scanner on to see if I heard anything and just a few seconds later the power went off. I turned around and went back to the bedroom, and that's when the tornado hit."

At the same time, Dwane Taylor, who was a coach for Southeast High School in 1992, heard the sound of a freight train from his house. It wasn't until a relative called that he realized it was the tornado.

"We live less than two miles from the school, and just got home, still dressed in our uniform and all, and my mother-in-law called and said a lady from the church across from the school called and said there were trees down everywhere," Taylor remembers. "There were buildings gone, the gym side blown out. At the stop sign, there were so many trees stacked up like match sticks way, way tall and a bus upside down, mobile homes upside down. It was just terrible."

Roberts was lucky to be alive after the tornado carried his mobile home a football field from its anchored location.

Taylor also saw a destroyed mobile home near the high school, and thought one of the teachers at Southeast had become a casualty. Thankfully, no one was home.