Tuscaloosa mayor: Eyes back on tornado catastrophe
More than 5,700 structures were damaged or destroyed in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, alone last week.
May 5th, 2011
11:51 PM ET

Tuscaloosa mayor: Eyes back on tornado catastrophe

The tornadoes weren't forgotten. The families of the hundreds who were killed in last week's record outbreak that flattened towns in the South, and the tens of thousands whose homes or businesses were damaged, and the many donors and volunteers who rushed to their aid from around the world didn't forget about the destruction, even after the United States announced it had killed Osama bin Laden.

But the terrorist mastermind's death has dominated national headlines since Sunday night, pushing tornado disaster reports, while still being made, down the pecking order. The mayor of Tuscaloosa - the University of Alabama city where at least 41 died and 25 still are missing - noticed.

Mayor Walter Maddox said this week that "with Tuscaloosa no longer being in the national media, I believe it can present a problem in terms of reminding the nation that what we face down here is a catastrophe," according to The Crimson White.

He understands why bin Laden caught the headlines, but the South's devastated communities will need sustained attention from the public and the federal government, he told CNN in a phone interview Thursday.

"Our state was hit with a Katrina-like event with less than 10 to 15 minutes' notice, and it's going to take years for our state and this city to recover," Maddox said. "What is important ... is (maintaining) the support from the federal government, and a lot of that will be borne out of the attention in this nation."

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Filed under: Alabama • Tornadoes • Weather
soundoff (24 Responses)
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    Has enough aid been sent?

    May 6, 2011 at 2:09 pm | Report abuse |
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