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Hurricane Nate leaves thousands without power; Trump approves FEMA support

By Samuel Mattison
Alabama Political Reporter

Tropical Storm Nate left behind it a series of power outages as it moved relatively fast across the state on Sunday.

As of midnight Monday, Alabama Power reported thousands of statewide outages with the plurality being in the Mobile area. Mobile had 10,900 outages, and even Birmingham Metro reported 2,900.

By 4 a.m., there were about 10,000 customers across the state still without power. The next power update was scheduled for 8 a.m.

The National Weather Service in Birmingham reported that peak winds reached 40 mph over their buildings. As the then-tropical depression moved towards the city, the National Weather Service canceled several warnings and watches as the weather patterns altered course slightly.

Nate landed in Mississippi last Saturday evening as a category 1 hurricane and moved northeastward as a downgraded tropical storm cutting across West, Central and Northern Alabama as it made its way to Tennessee.

The tropical storm comes after Hurricane Irma tore through Alabama last month. The storm landed in Florida a category 4 hurricane and decreased in power as it moved through the state into Georgia and eventually Alabama.

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Similar power outages were reported when Irma crossed into the state last month with mostly eastern parts of the state being affected by winds knocking down trees and power lines.

In preparation for Nate, Gov. Kay Ivey declared a statewide declaration of emergency and activated the Emergency Operations Center in Clanton, Alabama.

Ivey also requested presidential assistance from the federal government.

President Donald Trump approved Ivey’s request on Sunday, opening the door to federal assistance in cleaning up Nate’s aftermath.

Ivey said in a statement that she appreciated Trump’s quick response.

“We have had a great working relationship during the four storms since I took office,” Ivey said. “We will use this federal assistance to ensure that all Alabamians receive the support they need as the recovery from Hurricane Nate begins.”

The response comes after Trump is being criticized by many for his response to Puerto Rico after it was hit by two hurricanes last month.

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Retired Lt. General Russel L. Honoré, who oversaw Hurricane Katrina’s cleanup, said on CNN that he hopes “the President has a good day at golf.” The retired general has been a vocal critic of the president’s response to the crisis.

Trump responded by lambasting the national media for falsely reporting news. He told the people of Puerto Rico, who did not have power at the time, to not believe in the fake news reporting.

The president visited Puerto Rico last week but cut his visit short to visit with survivors of the Las Vegas mass shooting, which left over 50 dead and hundreds injured last Sunday.

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