West Alabama hit by high winds, heavy rain and more expected

In the late night hours of April 26 and early morning of April 27, strong tornadic winds and heavy rain pelted West Alabama, downing trees, limbs and power lines.
Many people were without elecricity for several hours at a stretch.
The picture to the right was taken early Wednesday morning on Mesopotamia Street in Eutaw, where the power pole was cracked and the lines were completely down. The tree pictured was literally uprooted by the heavy winds.
According to the National Weather Service, wind up to 100 miles per hour kocked out power in approximately 263,000 homes and businesses throughout Alabama, and more severe weather was expected later in the day on Wednesday.
Thursday, however, is expected to be sunny and clear
On April 22, Congresswoman Terri A. Sewell (D-AL) issued the following statement after being notified that Alabama’s request for a major federal disaster declaration was denied by Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator Craig Fugate on behalf of President Barack Obama. The federal disaster declaration request was made earlier this week by Governor Bentley, following deadly storms and tornadoes that ripped through the state on April 15.
“I am very disappointed in FEMA’s decision to deny federal disaster assistance to Alabama and to the victims of the deadly storms that ripped through our state last week.
While I greatly appreciate the efforts of FEMA officials currently working in Alabama and assessing the extent of the damage, I had strongly hoped that the federal government would offer assistance to our state and local governments and to the storm’s victims as they grapple with their losses.
“This decision places additional burdens and worries upon already hurting families and ignores the enormous costs to our state and local governments that are already struggling. I commend the efforts of the state and local governments as well as faith-based and non-profit community organizations who quickly mobilized to provide assistance to victims following this tragedy.
“My office will continue to work with state and local officials and non-profit organizations to ensure that we are doing all we can to get people the resources and assistance they need to rebuild their communities after these storms.”

Tornadoes hit homes, trailers and church in Greene County

Tornadoes hit the homes of Mrs. Mary Anthony and her son and destroyed Morning Star Baptist Church, Forkland, leaving only a pile of rubble. In addition, other homes and trailers in the Forkland and Tishabee communities were destroyed.

Tornadoes roared through Greene County last Friday, touching down in both the northern and southern areas and damaging homes, trailers, and at least two church roofs.
Warning sirens began wailing at 1:22 p.m. and shortly afterward the winds moved in.
Morning Star Baptist Church in Forkland was completely destroyed.
The final damage report released by the Interim EMA Director Iris Sermon was: 11 mobile homes – six of them sustained minor damage. four sustained major damage and one totally destroyed; 10 homes – nine with minor damage and one destroyed; two churches damaged and one destroyed. There were also a number of trees and power lines downed.
Only a small percentage of those with damaged or destroyed property had insurance.
Four persons were treated for injuries sustained in the tornado.
Others had minor scrapes and bruises including two people who were actually blown out of their home and into an adjoining field.
One lady said that while the tornado missed her home, it uprooted some trees in the back yard – “picked them up by their roots and just tossed them,” she said.
Trailers and homes belonging to members of her family were destroyed. “It happened just about the time you could blink your eyes, it hit,” she said, adding that later that evening when she needed medical attention, they had to go up Highway 20 to get to the hospital because all of the other roads had trees and power lines on them.
“It’s a blessing to be here,” she said. “People have been good. Senator Bobby Singleton came down here and lots of people we didn’t even know.”
First responders including law enforcement officers, the County Highway Department, Forkland Fire Department as well as ambulances and fire departments from Demopolis worked through the night as the tornadoes continued to move.
Many citizens and members of the Greene County Commission, councilwomen and men from various towns and concerned citizens also offered assistance where they could.
On Tuesday, April 19, a delegation consisting of members of the State EMA and Congresswoman Terri Sewell visited the Forkland Town Hall and talked privately with various officials, including members of the Greene County Commission, about possible assistance.
Art Faulkner, head of the Alabama EMA, said everything would take time and Governor Bentley was expecting faith-based, community-based and other volunteers to help where needed.