Storm recovery continues in Pleasant Grove and Pratt City - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

Storm recovery continues in Pleasant Grove and Pratt City

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The mayor says hundreds of homes have been rebuilt in Pleasant Grove. Source: WBRC video The mayor says hundreds of homes have been rebuilt in Pleasant Grove. Source: WBRC video
Rebuilding in Pratt City includes a new library and fire station. Source: WBRC video Rebuilding in Pratt City includes a new library and fire station. Source: WBRC video
JEFFERSON COUNTY, AL (WBRC) -

While there has been significant progress, it's a little bitter sweet in Pleasant Grove.

There are people who have rebuilt their homes, but others have not. Mayor Jerry Brasseale says there are hundreds of newly built homes in the areas hit by the tornadoes.

Many people chose to rebuild on their same property, but the Mayor also says the city has two hundred and fifty vacant lots where people never rebuilt.

Brasseale says the city is still working to demolish about fifteen damaged and abandoned structures left behind after the storms.

David Carpenter lives in Pleasant Grove. He feels like things still don't seem completely back to normal.

"A lot of folks never rebuilt back. You know that's the way it goes. People didn't want to be right back in tornado alley I guess. It doesn't look the same. I mean it doesn't look bad. The people who that have rebuilt did a good job," Carpenter said.

All of the damage in Pleasant Grove was mainly in the residential areas. Mayor Brasseale says overall he's pleased with the progress but he's now pushing for more development because he wants to see those vacant lots occupied again.

Over in Pratt City the progress is very evident and people are proud of that and it's much more than homes that have been rebuilt there.

The latest development will be celebrated Saturday. The City of Birmingham is holding a ribbon cutting for the new fire station.

Birmingham Fire Station 18 is on the site of the former building on Dugan Avenue, which was destroyed during the tornado. The ribbon cutting is part of the day-long commemoration of the events of April 27th.

Mayor William Bell says over the past three years there has been tremendous progress in rebuilding Pratt City and he says it will continue.

Charlotte Gray says she's thankful to God to see her town get back to normal again.

"God has really let people do a tremendous job around here. I am appreciative of our state-of-the-art fire station we have down there and the senior citizen center. We have our library, the children need it. It's back up in operation. Thank the Lord for that," Gray said.

The celebration in Pratt City begins at 8 a.m. Saturday morning at the corner of Hibernia and Dugan Avenue.

Throughout the day, there will be things like community projects, emergency preparedness workshops and entertainment.

Also, storm survivors will take the stage to tell their stories from that day.

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