By David A. Graham
Although the American South is still in the beginning stages of digging out from the catastrophic series of tornadoes that hit in April 2011, the city will soon have to turn to putting the pieces back together. In the short term, the survivors who remain will need shelter, goods, and basic services. In the longer run, hard-hit Tuscaloosa (left) and other cities will have to rebuild their homes and create new ways of life where the old ones were wiped out.
When disaster strikes, some cities have risen phoenix-like from fire (or hurricane or earthquake), while others have taken the opportunity not only to rebuild but in fact to leap forward. And some places, just too battered by nature, have never really regained their stride. Here are 10 cities hit by destruction, and how they recovered (or didn't).