The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

State and Nation

May 25, 2013

Tuscaloosa homes hit by tornado being demolished

— TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — Demolition has begun on some of the last buildings in Tuscaloosa slated to be torn down after being damaged by a massive tornado in April 2011.

The Tuscaloosa News reports (http://bit.ly/127j5Vl ) about 30 homes and other structures sat virtually untouched for two years, with trees still lying across houses with no roofs and open septic tanks scattered on the ground.

The Alabama Department of Transportation paid nearly $4 million for the property to make way for a proposed highway. On Tuesday, demolition crews started to tear down the damaged buildings.

ALDOT division engineer Dee Rowe says the work should take about three months. The agency is paying a contractor nearly $193,000.

Kevin Skelton, whose family lives near several of the damaged properties, says the demolition is "long overdue."

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