Alabama Power Foundation grant helps furnish Carbon Hill Community Center

CARBON HILL, Ala. - Oct. 9, 2007 – A $2,500 grant from the Alabama Power Foundation is helping Carbon Hill rebuild from a deadly tornado by furnishing the main meeting room and other sections of the recently-completed community center.

The 10,000-square-foot facility – built in the aftermath of an F-3 tornado Nov. 10, 2002, that destroyed half of the town – opened in August. The grant provided more than 50 chairs for a large meeting room where city council and court meets, and social events, such as receptions and parties, are held. The grant also funded chairs and used furniture for the town’s industrial development board office.

“Financially, we were unable to buy this furniture,” said Carbon Hill Mayor Phillip Howard. “We were going to have to borrow the money, since we spent all our money to build the community center. This grant from the Alabama Power Foundation made a big, big difference.”

The community center replaces a former two-story Masonic Lodge the town bought to hold city council and court meetings. It was destroyed in the tornado, forcing the council into a makeshift chamber in a hall in the town’s administrative offices.

“We met in the hallway with folding tables and chairs,” Howard said.

The new facility houses the library and fire department, and provides a venue that can be rented for parties, banquets and receptions.

The town of 2,000 managed to overcome not just the November 2002 tornado, in which 12 people died and the elementary school was destroyed, but also a fire five months earlier that razed Carbon Hill High School.

“The Alabama Power Foundation is glad to help Carbon Hill rebuild from this devastating tornado,” said Susan McKinney, manager of Alabama Power’s Jasper Office. “We are thrilled we can make a difference by furnishing a building that will serve the entire community in such a meaningful way, as the town strives to overcome these tragedies.”

The Alabama Power Foundation works to improve the quality of life of Alabamians and strengthen the communities in which they live. Since 1990, the foundation has provided more than $100 million in grants to worthy projects across Alabama. Details about the foundation are available at

Alabama Power, a subsidiary of Atlanta-based Southern Company (NYSE: SO), provides reliable, affordable electricity to more than 1.4 million customers across the state. Learn more about Alabama Power at