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Tornado Anniversary, Drywall hearings in Louisana, Confederate Memorial Day

Today is the four-year anniversary of the Tornado outbreak that killed more than 200 Alabamians.  The damage was widespread across the state, including Tuscaloosa.

Mayor Walter Maddox rode out the E-F-Four tornado at City Hall.  He says the moments after that were spent surveying the twelve-and-a-half percent of the city that was destroyed in six minutes…

“It’s one of the most overwhelming scenes of my life.  The first time I saw the damage, it really felt like an out-of-body experience.  And quite frankly, from the moment you saw it on television… that in it of itself was surreal because you think, ‘that’s my community here on CNN.’”

The event was the costliest tornado outbreak and one of the costliest natural disasters in United States history with total damages of approximately $11 billion.  The estimates total one-point-five billion dollars in damage in Alabama. 

Contractors and homeowners in Alabama will be among those watching a court hearing in New Orleans tomorrow. APR’s Pat Duggins reports it has to do with Chinese made construction material and millions of dollars in reported damages…

Four thousand homeowners in Alabama and five other states are going before U.S. District Judge Eldon Fallon in New Orleans. Their complaints are about Chinese made drywall that allegedly ruined the value of their homes.            Contractors and consumers reported foul chemical smells from the drywall that they claim ate away at electrical wiring and equipment like air conditioners and televisions.

The drywall was used during a national building frenzy following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

Damages for the homeowners, including those in Alabama, could amount to a billion dollars or more, depending on Judge Fallon’s ruling in New Orleans.

Nearly 100 Descendants of Confederate soldiers from Alabama gathered outside the Alabama State Capitol to celebrate Confederate Memorial Day.

Montgomery was the first capital of the Confederacy in 1861 before it moved to Richmond, Virginia.

Men dressed as Confederate soldiers and women dressed as Confederate widows read the names of distant relatives who fought for the South.

Several other Southern states honor Confederate Memorial Day.  The holiday's roots can be traced back to the end of the war that ended in 1865.

Alabama State University, a historically black university in Montgomery, is holding its first conference Confederate Memorial Day to critique the Confederacy.

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