About 270 days after twisters raked across Alabama, local and state leaders were handed papers in Pratt City to authorize grant money to help communities rebuild. The money was provided to individual regions and the state.
Meantime, just up the road in Clay, investigators continued looking to assess the damage done just one day earlier by another vicious storm that was part of another statewide outbreak.
The Community Development Block Grants totaled $6.38 million for Birmingham, $16.63 million for Tuscaloosa, $7.84 million for Jefferson County and another $55.56 million for the state at large. The money is to cover housing, business and other infrastructure needs not already met.
The grants are to help victims of last years carnage, but they were also a reminder for the victims of Monday morning’s storms of the lengthy cumbersome assistance process.
Hundreds of homes and businesses were damaged and destroyed across the state as the southeast was again pounded by severe weather. Two people have been reported killed and at least 100 injured in Jefferson County alone.
Damage assessment crews will fan out again Wednesday into storm damaged areas to continue to evaluate the damage done.
The National Weather Service says they have now confirmed EF-3 and EF-2 tornadoes in Tuscaloosa County and an EF-3 in Jefferson County.
Survey crews have been looking at damage in Jefferson, Perry, Chilton, Elmore, Coosa and Tallapoosa Counties. So far, at least six storm tracks have been located.
An EF-3 about 400 yards wide roughed up an area just under a half mile long in Tuscaloosa County near Koffman. Peak winds were estimated at 140mph. No injuries were reported. The storm uprooted about two dozen pine trees, destroyed an outbuilding and barn and ripped the roof off a home.
Also in Tuscaloosa County, an EF-2 with peak winds around 115 mph hit a half mile stretch of land near Watermelon Road just west of the Black Warrior River. Survey crews say this storm was just more than 300 yards wide, snapping trees, rolling campers and snapping transmission lines.
At the Jefferson/Tuscaloosa County line, another EF-2 tornado hit near Oak Grove packing winds peaking at 130mph and killing one person when it destroyed a mobile home. The path was just more than a tenth of a mile long and as much as 880 yards wide. Several other structures were also destroyed.
The weather service identified a fourth tornado in Sumter County. It was an EF-0 with peak winds of 75mph. It ripped up an area just more than a mile long and 50 yards wide. Trees were uprooted in the path and a shed was damaged.
Another massive EF-3 was identified in the Centerpoint area of Jefferson and St. Clair Counties. With winds peaking 150mph, it killed one person and injured about 100 more creating a path of destruction more than 15 miles long and 900 yards wide. The damage affected areas in Tarrant, Clay, Centerpoint, and Argo.
In Elmore County, an EF-1 twister hit the North Millbrook area with peak winds estimated at 100mph. There were no injuries reported from this storm, as it cut a path about four miles long and 200 yards wide. Beginning near the Autauga County line, it damaged about a dozen or more homes, blew down trees, ripped a roof off an apartment building, and damaged the doors of an auto center.
There are still other assessments being made in Perry and Chilton Counties. So far, EF-2 tornado damage has been found in Perry County where peak winds were estimated at 130mph.