Tuscaloosa tornado recovery

2011 Tornadoes: A Young Person's Perspective

Apr 20, 2016

Five years ago a series of devastating tornadoes ripped through west-central Alabama. This week on Alabama Public Radio we’re looking at the impact of these storms five years later. A-P-R student reporter Josh Hoppenstein spoke with University of Alabama students past and present to get their take on the storms.

“This is a large, violent tornado coming up on downtown Tuscaloosa, be in a safe place right now.”

On April 27, 2011, TV weatherman James Spann’s jacket was off and his sleeves were rolled up. Local viewers in tornado prone Alabama knew that meant trouble.

Stan Ingold

 

It has been nearly five years since a massive EF-4 tornado ripped through Tuscaloosa Alabama. Twelve percent of the city was destroyed and seven thousand people became unemployed. Here is a look at what recovery has been like for those who decided to come back and those who did not…

 

ci.tuscaloosa.al.us / City of Tuscaloosa

Local officials in Tuscaloosa are considering changes to local ordinances that govern rebuilding of commercial areas after the devastating tornadoes of April 2011.

The Tuscaloosa News reports Mayor Walt Maddox planned to present amendments to the city code Monday night to the Planning and Zoning Commission. One of the changes being pushed by the mayor would require businesses to hide larger trash bins from public view. Others proposals deal with design details for commercial buildings in the tornado recovery zone.

University of Alabama

Alabama researchers are looking into which kinds of structures can best survive tornadoes.  Investigators went to Moore, Oklahoma and found that storm shelters survived when other buildings didn’t.  University of Alabama associate professor Andrew Graettinger was a lead author of the study.  He says they not only looked at the damage in Moore but also at the damage in Joplin, Missouri and Tuscaloosa.  And in Moore, they found most shelters survived the damage.

Maggie Martin/APR News

Tuscaloosa city officials will soon be taking applications for loans of up to $20,000 aimed at helping businesses rebuild in the city's tornado recovery zone.

The Tuscaloosa News reports (http://bit.ly/15TZchw) the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs recently gave the city approval to use $500,000 for the loans. Businesses meeting certain terms will have their loans revert to grants, meaning the money won't have to be repaid.

pedimentbooks.com

The city council in Tuscaloosa is expected to vote Tuesday on a contract that would secure a $10 million line of credit to help fund storm recovery efforts.

The Tuscaloosa News reports (http://bit.ly/URA3B4) that if approved, it would mark the first money the city would borrow to pay for the millions of dollars in costs associated with rebuilding and cleaning up Tuscaloosa following the tornado of April 27, 2011.