Trump OKs Disaster Aid For Alabama

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Cindy Sanford, second from right, sifts through the debris with help from her brother, Tim Lancaster, from left, daughter, Kayla Causey, and stepfather, Michael Boutwell, while retrieving personal items after a tornado destroyed Sanford’s home in Beauregard, Ala., Tuesday, March 5, 2019. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

President Donald Trump has declared that a major disaster exists in Alabama and ordered federal aid to supplement state and local recovery efforts in Lee County, where a tornado swept through and killed at least 23 people.
    
In a news release Tuesday, the Trump Administration said assistance can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the disaster.
    
Damage assessments are continuing and more counties and additional forms of assistance may be designated after those surveys are completed.
    
Residents and business owners who sustained losses can begin applying for help by registering online at http://www.DisasterAssistance.gov or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362).
    



3:20 p.m.
    
The National Weather Service has confirmed at least 20 tornadoes struck across the Southeast during a deadly weekend outbreak.
    
Reports from the agency’s survey teams say storm systems crossing the region Sunday spun off tornadoes in Alabama, Florida, Georgia and South Carolina.
    
The most powerful twister was an EF4 tornado packing 170 mph winds that’s been blamed for at least 23 deaths in Lee County, Alabama. The weather service says that tornado crossed into western Georgia and traveled about 70 miles total.
    
The number of confirmed tornadoes could increase. Survey teams are still assessing storm damage in some areas.
    



2:30 p.m.
    
An expert says the deadly tornado that struck Beauregard, Alabama, apparently rumbled about 70 miles (110 kilometers) across two states, ending in neighboring Georgia. That would make it among the longest-lived tornado to touch down in Alabama.
    
That distance approaches the 81-mile track of a twister that killed more than 60 people and demolished much of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, in a “super outbreak” of several long-lasting tornadoes across the South on April 27, 2011.
    
Chris Darden, a meteorologist in charge of the National Weather Service in Birmingham, said Tuesday that the tornado that struck Beauregard last weekend continued into Georgia. His colleagues were surveying damage from Sunday’s tornado, adding the final track would likely be around 70 miles.
    



1:30 p.m.
    
President Donald Trump says he’ll visit Alabama on Friday to see the area devastated by a tornado that killed 23 people.
    
Trump says “it’s been a tragic situation but a lot of good work is being done.”
    
The president says he’s been in regular touch with the governors of Alabama and Georgia.
    
The tornado that hit Sunday was the nation’s deadliest in nearly six years.

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