On Saturday, March 2, a large F-4 tornado destroyed parts of Lee County, Alabama and the towns of Smith Station and Beauregard. In Lee County, 23 people died, including at least three children. Many are reminded of the April 2011 outbreak that killed 253 people in the state of Alabama and hit the cities of Tuscaloosa and Birmingham.
Back in 2011, The City of Tuscaloosa was destroyed and, despite the hated rivalry between Alabama and Auburn, players and fans from both schools came together to help clean up damage done by the storm. Now, the roles are reversed and everyone is pitching in to return the favor.
Several businesses in Tuscaloosa, including Tuscaloosa Townsquare and Julio Jones Kia and Mazda, have pledged to help, according to AL.com.
“Our hearts go out to those who lost loved ones or saw damage to their homes and businesses in East Alabama Sunday,” Tuscaloosa Townsquare Operating Manager Meg Summers said. “So many in Lee County and the Auburn area came together to help us when a tornado devastated Tuscaloosa in 2011 and this is our chance to return their kindness with some of our own.”
Meanwhile down in Auburn, the Auburn Tigers football team has already started to help with recovery efforts, too. Head coach Gus Malzahn said “thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families.”
According to AL.com, at least 30 Auburn coaches and players delivered supplies to two Beauregard churches.
With Alabama and Auburn facing each other in Tuscaloosa in basketball on Tuesday, there are also plans in the works for some kind of joint efforts by the schools to help tornado victims.
Despite the rivalry, both universities always manage to come together in a time of crisis.