By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Wednesday, November 30, 2016, Alabama Governor Robert Bentley on Wednesday issued a State of Emergency following deadly storms on Tuesday night. Alabama has experienced severe thunderstorms, hail, straight line winds, and tornadoes causing damage in 12 counties including: Colbert, Cullman, Dekalb, Franklin, Jackson, Lauderdale, Madison, Marion, Marshall, Morgan, Pickens, and Winston. Three people died in Jackson County where 20 homes were destroyed and 46 homes were damaged.
Gov. Bentley said, “The people of Alabama have already suffered because of this week’s severe weather and we are experiencing more today,” Governor Bentley said. “This State of Emergency will activate state agencies to assist communities in whatever way necessary, to ensure our people get the help they need. Tomorrow I will travel to affected parts of theSstate to survey the damage and ensure people have the resources they need following these storms.”
State Representative Nathaniel Ledbetter (R-Rainsville) said in a statement in response to the destruction caused by tornadoes overnight in DeKalb County. Rep. Ledbetter said, “My thoughts and prayers are with the families who were affected by the severe weather and tornadoes that hit Northeast Alabama last night. I toured the resulting damage today, and while the destruction to homes and businesses across DeKalb County is saddening, I am reassured by the optimism and resilience being shown by our community in this time of need. We should all offer our thanks to the first responders and utility personnel who have been working around the clock to assess and clear storm damage, ensuring our residents are safe and restoring their power and phone service. I have spoken at length with the offices of Governor Robert Bentley and Congressman Robert Aderholt and am confident we are taking every step possible to ensure our community has the assistance it needs during this difficult time.”
There are10,600 homes statewide without power. State crews and power company workers are out today working to clear downed trees and power lines to get utilities restored as quickly as possible.
Gov. Bentley said on Twitter, “Community Storm Shelters save lives. 200 took shelter in Jackson Co. as tornado passed by. Shelter was built after April 2011 Tornadoes.”
The storms brought much needed rains, but, as of Tuesday, the Alabama Forestry Commission was still battling 11 wildfires. AFC Officials will reassess the drought situation on Thursday taking into account this week’s rainfall.
This State of Emergency is effective immediately and will remain until further notice.
On Thursday Gov. Bentley will visit three Alabama counties impacted by this week’s severe weather outbreak. Governor Bentley will survey Tornado Damage in DeKalb, Jackson and Winston Counties. Stops are scheduled for the Ider City Hall, the Ider Christian Academy Daycare, the Rosalie Elementary School in Pisgah, and the Arley Volunteer Fire Department.
Since World War II more people have been killed from tornadoes in Alabama than in any other state.