The State of Alabama is remembering the Tornado outbreak that happened on this day four years ago.  APR’s MacKenzie Bates sat down with Tuscaloosa Mayor Walter Maddox who describes the experience in just two words…

Associated Press

Thirteen more Alabama counties are qualifying for federal assistance due to the storms, tornadoes and flooding that hit the state in late April and early May.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency says state and local government programs and some nonprofit organizations may apply for disaster assistance in Blount, Butler, Covington, Crenshaw, Dale, DeKalb, Etowah, Franklin, Geneva, Lamar, Perry, Pickens and Tuscaloosa counties. Five other counties — Baldwin, Jefferson, Lee, Limestone and Mobile — were approved for the aid earlier.

The National Weather Service is confirming that a small tornado hit south Alabama over the weekend.

A preliminary damage report says an EF1 tornado with winds as strong as 110 mph struck Geneva County on Saturday.

The twister left a path of damage that's more than 2 miles long and 100 yards wide.

Two homes were damaged and the storm knocked down trees, but no one was injured. / City of Tuscaloosa

Emergency officials are trying to learn why Tuscaloosa's emergency alert system failed to warn people of a tornado that struck parts of the city and county.

The EF-1 twister struck the community on April 28.

The Tuscaloosa News reports that the system failed to make automatic phone calls or send text notifications to the 25,000 numbers or email addresses registered.

Slawek Puklo / Flickr

The National Weather Service has confirmed that storm damage in Birmingham was caused by a tornado with maximum winds estimated at 90 mph.

The National Weather Service says the tornado hit at about 4:45 a.m. Monday in the area around Finley Avenue near the Birmingham farmer's market. Birmingham Mayor William Bell says there are no reports of injuries from severe weather that damaged roofs and broke windows. He says the city provided tarps to residents whose roofs were damaged.

APR News

The Alabama Public Radio news team collected a national Sigma Delta Chi award at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. for best breaking news coverage of the Tuscaloosa tornado. News Director Pat Duggins was joined at the podium by reporters Ryan Vasquez, Maggie Martin and Stan Ingold for the presentation of the bronze medallion.

All week long on Alabama Public Radio, the news department is revisiting the people we heard from in the hours and days following the April 27th tornadoes that struck the state a year ago. Last night, the Tuscaloosa city council approved rezoning in the areas hit hard by the storm. Pending a final vote, this will set the city's rebuilding plan into full motion. APR's Pat Duggins takes us to the small town in Kansas which helped pioneer the "green" rebuilding ideas that may take root here.