Sewell asks Obama for disaster declaration

Published 9:23 am Thursday, April 21, 2011

Thursday, Congresswoman Terri A. Sewell sent a letter to President Barack Obama urging his office to issue a federal major disaster declaration for Alabama in the wake of a deadly tornado outbreak that ripped through the state last Friday.

In the letter, Sewell also requested federal assistance to help residents, business owners and local officials rebuild their communities after last week’s devastating storms.

“A natural disaster has struck our communities, and there is a huge clean up and recovery ahead of us,” said Sewell. “We are going to need federal assistance to help residents deal with the aftermath of these storms. I hope the federal government will quickly provide assistance to people who sorely need it.”

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Marengo and Sumter Counties sustained major private and public damage from the storms and tornadoes that struck last Friday.

A Myrtlewood tornado killed one man and injured four others. Over all, at least 26 structures were destroyed and 12 others seriously damaged in last week’s storms.

Tuscaloosa, Greene, Hale and Choctaw Counties also sustained major damage in the storms and may be added to the federal assistance request. Damage assessments of the other impacted counties are still ongoing.

Rep. Sewell’s letter follows a letter written by Governor Bentley on Tuesday requesting a federal disaster declaration from the President. The governor must declare a state disaster area and request federal assistance before the President can issue a Federal disaster declaration.