Alabama April 27th tornadoes

Stan Ingold

An E-F-5 tornado ripped through the small northwest Alabama community leveling much of the town.  

“This is one of the hardest hit areas, you see, it looks like land has been cleared, especially this area we’re fixing to go to over here.

Police Chief Merrell Potter and I drove around Phil Campbell to survey the damage…

It looks like, almost like pasture land that’s just been cleared off, you can tell there used to be houses there but the green grass is starting to grow up through the debris that has been cleared.”

SWIRLL
Alex AuBuchon / APR

All week long on Alabama Public Radio, we’ve been looking back at the tornado outbreak on April 27, 2011. The storms impacted homeowners and businesses, and you’ve heard from many of them during our coverage.

Now we’ll look ahead. For the past two months, dozens of scientists have been conducting groundbreaking research on tornadoes and severe weather right here in Alabama.

APR’s Alex AuBuchon has more on the impact that research could have on meteorologists' understanding of severe weather and forecasters’ ability to predict it.

G.M. Andrews/AP Photo

The Alabama House of Representatives has passed a bill that authorizes the state to issue $30 million in bonds to rebuild several tornado-damaged schools across the state.

Democratic Rep. Napoleon Bracy's bill passed 103-0 Tuesday night and now goes to the Senate. If approved, it will provide $15 million to Murphy High School in Mobile to repair damage from a tornado on Christmas Day, 2012.

Maggie Martin/APR News

"Hi!" shouts Becky Collier, a 4-H program coordinator in West Alabama.

The kids in the audience unenthusiastically shout "hi" back.

“That was pathetic," says Collier.  "We’re going to try that again! HELLO!"

“HELLO!”

“That is how not to greet people when you’re birding, okay?" says Collier. She’s holding a presentation on birds of prey, or raptors, for a large group of kids this morning. The raptor demonstration is part of the launch of the West Alabama Birding Trail in Pickens County.

Maggie Martin/APR News

"Hi!" shouts Becky Collier, a 4-H program coordinator in West Alabama.

The kids in the audience unenthusiastically shout "hi" back.

“That was pathetic," says Collier.  "We’re going to try that again! HELLO!"

“HELLO!”

“That is how not to greet people when you’re birding, okay?" says Collier. She’s holding a presentation on birds of prey, or raptors, for a large group of kids this morning. The raptor demonstration is part of the launch of the West Alabama Birding Trail in Pickens County.

Maggie Martin/APR News

Alabama is still waiting on more than $70 million in payments from the Federal Emergency Management Agency linked to the deadly tornado outbreak of April 27, 2011.

Art Faulkner, director of the Alabama Emergency Management Agency, says the state already has received $112 million from FEMA.

The state is eligible for and expecting $185 million in all. But Faulkner says the payment process can take a while on larger projects, such as replacing the four schools that were destroyed by twisters.

Faulkner says more payments are coming.

uanews.ua.edu / University of Alabama

An assistant professor at the University of Alabama, Suzanne Horsley, will be honored at the White House on Friday.

She's one of nine people being recognized as "Champions of Change" for the time and effort they have devoted to the American Red Cross.