April and May brought a rash of natural disasters that affected destinations along the Mississippi River, in western Alabama and in southwestern Missouri.
Visit Tuscaloosa (Ala.), in partnership with the city’s media outlets, has launched Recover Tuscaloosa, an online news site dedicated to sharing positive and inclusive news about the recovery from the devastating tornados of April 27. Donations to the Tuscaloosa Disaster Relief Fund may be made here. A list of ways to assist other Alabama communities are on the Alabama Possible site.
Rising floodwaters along the Mississippi River prompted President Obama to declare a state of emergency in Mississippi, Tennessee and Louisiana during the month of in May.
Only 1 percent of Memphis was impacted by floodwaters. Tourism and convention areas were largely unaffected.
In Mississippi, flooding forced Tunica’s casinos to close, but all nine casino resorts reopened in time to welcome Memorial Day weekend business. At its grand reopening party on May 27, the Fitz Casino gave out “I Survived the Flood of the Century” T-shirts. For more information on business openings, visit Travel Tunica’s River Watch website.
Baton Rouge’s levees held. All area attractions and roads remained open through the cresting waters on May 23-24. The opening of 330 of the 350 bays of the Bonnet Carre Spillway diverted enough of the floodwaters to protect New Orleans. All businesses, hotels and attractions are open for business in the Big Easy.
Nearly 2,000 buildings in Joplin, Mo., were destroyed by a tornado on May 22. Here is a list of organizations dedicated to providing community resources and aiding recovery. For updates, visit Mo.Gov.