By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Last week tornados touched down in rural areas of Etowah and Dekalb Counties. Largely because of the rural nature of the area the damage is unlikely to rise to the level necessary for a federal natural disaster declaration. While it may not be a disaster in the eyes of Washington, if your home was destroyed then it is a disaster in your world. State Representative Becky Nordgren (R) announced on Facebook that a tornado relief fund is being set up for those families who were impacted by the severe weather in Northeast Alabama.
State Representative Nordgren (R) from Gadsden said on Facebook, “Due to the major destruction in Kilpatrick and Crossville we are setting up a Tornado Relief fund. We have 29 families with totally destroyed homes and no place to live. Found out that instead of straight winds we had two F2 tornados in the Kilpatrick and Crossville area. Hundreds of homes were effective. I rode the area today with Jennifer from Crossville Town Hall and it is a mess!”
Rep. Nordgren said, “So far we haven’t had any luck getting it declared a disaster area but hopefully with the new damage assessment we can get help.”
If anyone would like to help, Rep. Nordgren wrote, “For now if anyone would like to donate to our efforts to provide shelter to the victims of this storm, please mail to……Town of Crossville Tornado Relief Fund, P.O. Box 100 Crossville, Alabama 35962. Any help would be appreciated.”
State Representative Craig Ford (D) from Gadsden said last week 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.”
The damage from the Christmas Day tornado through Mobile and Pike counties did not meet the threshold to trigger the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s help and it is very possible that the damage from last week’s tornado also will fail to reach that threshold. The state is still doing assessments of the damage.
Since World War II, more residents of Alabama have been killed by tornados than in any other state.