Nearly two years ago, the April 27 tornado cut a six mile path of destruction through Tuscaloosa. Monday morning, city leaders and others held the first event of six in six straight days to highlight how far the city has progressed since then.
One of the first places hit by the storm was the Curry Building. It housed several city departments including the Environmental Services Department.
Shane Daughtery, director of Tuscaloosa Environmental Services, was making plans for storm clean up minutes before his office took a direct hit from the April 27 tornado.
"I took my wife and kids and we went down in the basement. It was probably maybe 5 or 10 minutes later and my ears started popping, we heard what sounded like bombs going off," he said.
Daughtery was inside the Curry building with family, co-workers, other city employees and a Fox6 News crew when the tornado tore off the roof and took down much of the building.
"The whole top side just came down on us," he recalled. Thankfully, everyone made it out alive that day.
Now nearly two years later, Daughtery and city leaders are breaking ground on a new environmental services building.
"We're going to have a brand new administrative building and I'd like to think one of the nicest municipal recycling plants in the state," he said.
The $7.5 million building will house a state-of-the-art recycling plant with 24-hour drop off for the public. Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox calls this another step that is the marathon tornado recovery has become.
"The more we recycle, the less we put in our landfill. It's good for the environment and it's good for the tax payer and this facility came out of the Tuscaloosa Forward plan, which is something we're beginning to see," Maddoox said Monday.
The Curry Environmental Services Building should be complete by next February.
Other April 27 anniversary events include:
Tuesday, April 23 at 10 a.m.: "Listening to the Storm" Transportation Museum opening – 1901 Jack Warner Parkway
Wednesday, April 24 at 10 a.m.: GRO1000 Alberta Garden dedication – 700 25th Ave. East
Thursday, April 25 at 11 a.m.: East Police Precinct open house – 2604 University Blvd. East
Friday, April 26 at 11 a.m.: Alagasco Lighting the Way dedication – 701 Kicker Road (Jaycee Park)
Saturday, April 27 at 5 p.m.: Candlelight memorial service at Soma Church - 212 44th Court NE; reading of the names of Tuscaloosa victims to begin at 5:13 p.m.
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