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Bentley Declares State of Emergency

By Brandon Moseley

Alabama Political Reporter

On Wednesday, April 30th, residents of many parts of Alabama were beginning the long slow process of recovering from storms and Monday and Tuesday while residents of Southwest Alabama struggle with record flooding.  Alabama Governor Robert Bentley (R) declared a State of Emergency and is asking for Federal FEMA assistance.

Senator Richard Shelby (R) from Alabama said in a written statement that the entire Alabama legislative delegation had sent a letter urging the Obama administration to support Gov. Bentley’s request. The letter read: “On behalf of the State of Alabama, we are writing to support Governor Robert Bentley’s request for an emergency declaration pursuant to the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief Act as a result of the severe storms, straight-line winds, tornadoes and flash flooding that affected Alabama on April 28, and 29, 2014.”

The Alabama delegation continued, “Governor Bentley has declared a state of emergency under Alabama law, and state and local officials are coordinating with the response and cleanup.  Governor Bentley has requested debris removal and emergency protective measures (Categories A and B), including direct federal assistance under the Public Assistance program statewide.  The Governor has further requested a 100 percent federal cost share for the first 72 hours.”

Alabama’s congressional delegation wrote, “These storms have caused widespread power losses that have negatively impacted residents, businesses, schools, and state and local government operations.  Damage assessments are far from complete, but initial reports suggest significant injury to communities across the State.  We therefore urge you to approve Governor Bentley’s request expeditiously.” The letter concluded, “The Alabama Emergency Management Agency has been working closely and effectively with the Federal Emergency Management Agency since the beginning of this incident, and we are grateful for their combined efforts in responding to the affected communities’ needs.  We thank you for your prompt attention to this request.  Our offices stand ready to provide you with any additional information that you require.”

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Congresswoman Terri A Sewell wrote in a statement, “This week, the State of Alabama has endured severe weather and parts of the 7th Congressional District were badly damaged by tornadoes. My thoughts and prayers are with the families affected by these terrible storms and tornadoes. Alabama is no stranger to such destruction and I know that our compassion for our neighbors and resilient spirit will see us through. Today, I joined with the Alabama delegation in sending a letter to President Obama urging him to support Governor Robert Bentley’s request for an emergency declaration and immediate federal assistance.”

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) assists states during times of natural disaster.  Alabama has the highest number of tornado deaths since 1980 with 415.

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