By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
According to UAB, tornados have killed 412 Alabamians since 1980, more than in any other state, and on Monday night an all too familiar weather event passing across the state added to that sad total only a day after Alabamians remembered the devastation that rocked communities across the state in 2011.
Alabama Governor Robert Bentley (R) early on Monday night declared a State of Emergency for all Alabama counties as a result of the severe weather which was impacting the State.
Governor Bentley said, “Some of our communities have already experienced significant damage as a result of the tornadoes that began moving through Alabama earlier today. By issuing a State of Emergency, I am directing all state agencies to take necessary actions to respond to Alabama communities that need help.”
U.S. Representative Terri Sewell (D) urged Alabamians to pray for storm victims and take safety precautions. Rep. Sewell said, “Having spent this past weekend in Pratt City remembering the lives that were lost in the April 27 storms three years ago, I can say that we in the 7th District know far too well the devastating impact tornadoes can have on families and communities,” Sewell said. “I urge residents of District 7 and other Alabamians to listen to weather updates and to take cover as severe weather approaches their area in the coming hours. We should all offer help to our neighbors in need and keep storm victims in our thoughts and prayers.”
As of press time, there were numerous areas of the State which had been impacted by the storm and two people died in Limestone County. The weather system had already killed 3 persons in Oklahoma and 18 in Arkansas.
At 11:30 pm Alabama Power was reporting that 42,000 customers were without power. Insurance adjusters, emergency management officials, and sheriff’s departments across the state will be out doing damage assessments as soon as the sun comes up.
A tornado was reported near Kimberly in Jefferson County. Alabama Federation of College Republicans Political Director Dalton Dismukes is reporting on Facebook that Republican Lt. Gov. candidate Stan Cooke’s Church has suffered damage. “Praying for Stan Cooke. He is the pastor of Kimberly Church of God, in Kimberly, AL. The church is damaged heavily. Pray for him and his church please.”
The Alabama Emergency Agency activated the State Emergency Operations Center in Clanton to a level two at 7:00 p.m. Monday. Governor Bentley authorized the mobilization of 100 Alabama National Guard members to be on stand-by and ready to assist communities.