Alabama Delegation Urges President Obama to Issue a Federal Major Disaster Declaration for Alabama
Washington, DC-- Members of Alabama's congressional delegation unanimously supported Governor Robert Bentley's request for an expedited federal disaster declaration in the wake of widespread tornado destruction in the state.
The delegation sent a letter to President Obama Wednesday night in support of a disaster declaration under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, which authorizes the use of federal resources for emergency response and recovery efforts.
"The State of Alabama was struck by a series or tornadoes so devastating that they are already being termed as among the worst in our state's history," the letter stated.
Approval of the request was confirmed late Wednesday night during a telephone call between the President and the Governor.
The bipartisan letter was signed by Alabama's two Senators and all seven House members.
A copy of the letter is attached below:
April 27, 2011
Dear Mr. President,
Please accept this letter in support of Alabama Governor Robert Bentley's request for disaster relief for Alabama. On Wednesday April 27, 2011, the State of Alabama was struck by a series of tornadoes so devastating that they are already being termed as among the worst in our state's history. As of 8:15 Eastern Time, over 109 tornado reports had been issued in the southeast with many of those occurring in Alabama. The damage assessment is still ongoing, but on-the-ground reports have confirmed loss of life and very severe damage in cities and communities both large and small.
Alabama Governor Bentley has declared a state of emergency under state law and state and local officials are coordinating the response and cleanup. The resources of several state departments will be required to participate in the response efforts including the Alabama Emergency Management Agency, Department of Transportation, Department of Public Safety and others. Due to the severity of the storms and the widespread damage, Governor Bentley has confirmed that supplemental federal assistance is necessary to save lives, protect public health and safety and lessen the threat of a disaster.
Thus, under the provisions of Section 401 of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, 42 U.S.C. 5121-5208 (Stafford Act), and implemented by 44 CFR 206.36, we respectfully request that you declare an expedited major disaster for the State of Alabama as a result of tornadoes, high winds, flooding, and severe storms that impacted areas of the State on April 27, 2011.
Thank you for your consideration of this request as Alabama recovers from this tragedy.
Contact: Allison Abney; (202) 225-2665; Allison.firstname.lastname@example.org