Government officials tour tornado damage in Geiger
State leaders and emergency officials joined a crowd of around 40 Sumter County residents Tuesday in front of what remained of a car wash in the Geiger community.
Gov. Robert Bentley, U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell, state EMA director Art Faulkner and Sumter and Greene county officials toured the destruction in Geiger, one of the areas hardest hit by storms that wreaked havoc across Alabama and the rest of the Southeast over the weekend.
“It's amazing that we have not seen deaths coming out of these houses and we need to be thankful for that,” Bentley said. “This area in Sumter County lost more homes than any county.
“Sunday morning, I received a call from President (Barack) Obama, and he told me that he wanted me to express to you his condolences and I told him about Sumter County.”
Bentley and Sewell, whose 7th Congressional District includes Sumter County, have been in contact with the White House and FEMA since the storm hit. The state is currently attempting to assess the damage, at which point officials can request federal aid.
“You have to have evidence, so what we're trying to do and the EMA's office is doing is we're accumulating all this evidence so that I can ask for assistance from the president,” Bentley said. “You have to prove your losses first.”
Bentley and Sewell, who is in her first term in Congress, visited with emergency workers and Sumter County residents affected by the storm.