Alabama is delaying its planned severe weather preparedness day because of the very real severe weather much of the state is experiencing.
Tomorrow was supposed to be "Ready Alabama Preparedness Day." Events would have included thousands of schoolchildren gathering in downtown Birmingham for weather education sessions. But the state says it's delaying the event out of caution and concern for the safety of both students and the first responders who would be teaching the sessions.
More than 100 nonprofit groups and government entities have been picked to get shares of $43.7 million in BP funds to promote the Gulf Coast's tourism and seafood industries following the company's 2010 oil spill.
The first round of grants announced Wednesday by court-supervised claims administrator Patrick Juneau is part of a proposed settlement between BP and a team of private plaintiffs' attorneys.
The deal calls for BP to fund a total of $57 million in tourism and seafood promotion grants.
Scientific testing has confirmed a link between oil from the massive BP spill and tar found on Alabama beaches after Hurricane Isaac. Auburn University researcher Joel Hayworth said Tuesday a chemical analysis showed that tar balls collected after Isaac were associated with the type of oil spilled after the explosion on the Deepwater Horizon rig in 2010. Auburn researchers collected about 15 pounds of tar balls after the storm, and officials from Gulf Shores and Orange Beach picked up still more.
Alabama's seafood industry survived Hurricane Issac with barely a scratch compared to Katrina seven years ago, but the storm could still cost millions in lost work. Dozens of shrimp boats remain tied up at docks in Bayou La Batre, and processing plants are closed. But the storm caused virtually no damage to buildings or vessels. The president of the Organized Seafood Association of Alabama, Ernie Anderson, says the storm could cost the industry as much as $3 million in lost sales.
Southeast Alabama is slowly beginning to dry out after Isaac. Shops and stores along the Alabama gulf coast are re-opening for business. Alabama Power reported restoring power to most of Dauphin Island shortly before 5PM Wednesday. Isaac has been downgraded to a Tropical Storm, but has stalled over southeastern Louisiana dumping many inches of rain on the Gulf Coast.That means Alabama's Gulf Coast isn't quite out of the woods yet. The forecast calls for more rain in the Mobile area between now and Friday, and a bit drier over the weekend.
Several hundred people are staying in shelters in Mobile and Baldwin counties during Hurricane Isaac. Juana Castillo said she drove with her mother, stepdad and brother from Metairie, La., to a shelter in Theodore. She said her dad lived through Katrina and he urged the family to leave Louisiana. A 75-year-old Mobile man, Tom Rowan, said he had the boat he calls home pulled out of the water and then went to a shelter. He said the water at Turner Marina where he docks his boat is up about a foot, but Isaac has been unimpressive so far.
It has been four years since the largest terrorist attack on US soil. Now the Gulf Coast has experienced possibly the worst natural disaster in US history. Lawmakers wonder why 9-11 didn't better prepare emergency management for dealing with Hurricane Katrina. People in downtown Tuscaloosa talk about the recovery New York made and ways the Gulf Coast might do the same. Plus, we have a story about the Navy's Blue Angels and the service men and women on the ground who help keep pilots in the air.