By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
On Monday, powerful storms swept across much of Alabama bringing wind, rain, and thunder. Especially hard his was Etowah County where a tornado touched down, State Representative Craig Ford (D) from Gadsden said on Facebook, “Recognizing the level of destruction in Etowah County, I toured the area today w/ the state EMA Director, Mr. Art Faulkner. There are a lot of citizens in Etowah county that need our help. I am encouraging the state director to declare this area a state of emergency. We can also urge the Small Business Administration from Atlanta to come in and also help our local businesses. SBA can and will also help our local residents w/ low interest loans so we can all go back to work. Also, I am working w/ Alabama Power trying to help EXPEDITE their efforts. I have also encouraged Governor Bentley to personally visit the destruction. I was encouraged today by the spirit of our community when I personally toured the area speaking w/ our citizens and seeing everyone help one another.”
State Senator Phil Williams (R) from Rainbow City said on Facebook. “Rep (and Deputy) Mack Butler and I just got back from traveling the District and surveying storm damage. We helped with traffic control in Southside. Amazing what straight line winds can do.”
TV weatherman James Spann said on Facebook, “Small tornado track discovered in far northern Etowah County by the Birmingham NWS this afternoon… “We are working on a PNS….but wanted to let everyone know. We have confirmed EF1 tornado damage in northern Etowah county, northeast of Sardis City. Tornado touched down in Boaz in Marshall county and moved into northern Etowah. Total path length is 7.9 miles, max width is 300 yards with max winds of 95-105 mph. This skinny path produced tree damage, and destroyed 5 mobile homes, and caused significant damage to one brick home. unfortunately, there was 3 injuries.”
Rep. Ford said, “I met w/ Sherriff Todd Entrekin, District Attorney Jimmie Harp, and our local EMA Director to hold a press conference to get the word out about possible theft claims and trespassing on other citizen’s property. It was mentioned by the state director of EMA to contact the Red Cross for any needs such as medical, transportation or possible help in removal of trees. Thank you DA Jimmie Harp and Sherriff. I realize today we were in session in Montgomery but I felt it was necessary to deal w/ constituents and all of Etowah County citizens in person.”
Sen. Williams got some help from constituents, “What a blessing to have friends! I got home from Montgomery today about 5:30 to find that a group of friends from church had decided to come cut trees and debris out of our yard! Thank you to the Jones and Roberts families! I hope your treasure in Heaven is bigger than this pile of tree limbs!”
Severe weather can strike at any time of year in Alabama so it is important to always be prepared.