Rebuilding After Tornadoes: Tuscaloosa and Hackleburg

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Tornado Rebuilding Efforts: Too Slow or Right on Track?

The first anniversary of the deadly April 27th tornadoes has come and gone. And while the story may fade from the headlines, recovery efforts continue in communities across Alabama. In the northwest corner of the state, the tiny town of Hackleburg is still struggling to get back on its feet. Dozens of people died in the storm and 75% of the town’s buildings were destroyed. Will Selman is a recovery manager with the Federal Emergency Management Agency. He was in Hackleburg recently to assess progress there. Standing amid a downtown that’s still a pile of rubble, Selman said the rebuilding is going very slowly.

See “then” and “now” photos from Hackleburg…


Alabama Congresswoman Terri Sewell‘s 7th District also suffered a lot of damage. She toured Tuscaloosa recently to assess that city’s progress in rebuilding.

Read the Wall Street Journal article (written by University of Alabama history professor David Beito and Troy University economics professor Daniel Smith) that compares Tuscaloosa and Joplin recovery efforts here.