Congresswoman Sewell Urges President Obama to Issue a Federal Major Disaster Declaration for Alabama
WASHINGTON, DC-- Today, Congresswoman Terri A. Sewell (D-AL) sent a letter to President Barack Obama urging him to issue a federal major disaster declaration for Alabama, following deadly tornadoes that ripped through the state last Friday. In the letter, she also requested federal assistance to help residents, business owners and local officials rebuild their communities after last week’s devastating storms.
“A natural disaster has struck our communities, and there is a huge clean up and recovery ahead of us,” said Sewell. “We are going to need federal assistance to help residents deal with the aftermath of these storms. I hope the federal government will quickly provide assistance to people who sorely need it.”
Marengo and Sumter Counties sustained major private and public damage from the storms and tornadoes that struck last Friday and are in vital need of state and federal recovery assistance. Tuscaloosa, Greene, Hale and Choctaw Counties also sustained major damage in the storms and may be added to the federal assistance request. Damage assessments of the other impacted counties are still ongoing.
Rep. Sewell’s letter follows a letter written by Governor Bentley on Tuesday, requesting a federal disaster declaration from the President. The governor must declare a state disaster area and request federal assistance before the President can issue a federal disaster declaration.
A copy of Sewell’s letter is attached below:
April 21, 2011
The Honorable Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20500
Dear Mr. President,
I am writing to express my support for Alabama Governor Robert Bentley’s request for disaster relief, and I request that you declare a major disaster for the State of Alabama as a result of the severe storms, flooding, flash-flooding, hail, straight-line winds, and tornadoes, which began on April 15, 2011, and ended on April 16, 2011.
Alabama Emergency Management Agency (AEMA) officials have worked diligently to coordinate the state’s response to this tragedy. Governor Bentley is employing significant resources from several of the state’s departments to provide support and relief for the impacted areas.
On April 17 and April 18, 2011, Governor Bentley requested joint Federal, State, and local surveys of the damaged areas for Individual Assistance for Sumter and Marengo Counties. The preliminary damage assessments for Sumter and Marengo Counties indicate that many residential homes and mobile homes were severely damaged by the storms.
As a result of the trauma, injuries, deaths, devastation and disruption of essential services caused my these severe storms, I would like to express my support for Individual Assistance, including Individuals and Households Program (IHP); Disaster Unemployment Assistance; Crisis Counseling; Disaster Food Stamp Program; American Bar Association Young Lawyers Legal Aid; and Small Business Administration disaster loans for Marengo and Sumter Counties.
In addition to Sumter and Marengo Counties, Tuscaloosa, Greene, Hale and Choctaw Counties also sustained major damage in the storms and may be added to the federal assistance request. Damage assessments of the other impacted counties are still ongoing.
Thank you for your consideration of this request for relief for Alabamians suffering from these events. Please contact our offices if you have any additional questions.
TERRI A. SEWELL
Member of Congress
Contact: Allison Abney; (202) 225-2665; Allison.firstname.lastname@example.org