Friday, April 29, 2011

Rescue efforts transition to recovery in hard-hit Alabama

Hopes of finding trapped survivors dwindled Friday evening in Alabama, the epicenter of storms that obliterated neighborhoods and towns and claimed scores of lives across the South. Gov. Robert Bentley, speaking in Birmingham, said the long road to recovery will now begin. "We've gotten past the rescue stage," Bentley said. "We have begun the recovery stage."

Earlier Friday, President Barack Obama toured rubble-strewn neighborhoods in Tuscaloosa, declaring the devastation brought by a series of powerful storms and tornadoes was beyond anything he had ever seen. The storms killed at least 326 people in six states and left entire neighborhoods in ruins. Obama promised expedited federal aid to states affected by the tornadoes.

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