Residents reach out to help after storms

Published 12:30 pm Thursday, April 28, 2011

Residents across Alabama were searching for information Thursday and reaching out to help after devastating tornados killed more than 130 people across the state.

With hundreds of thousands without power, Southern Pine Electric Cooperative sent two line electric line crews to assist its sister cooperative Sand Mountain Electric Co-Op in Rainsville, where tornadoes killed more than 30 people.

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Eight Southern Pine linemen were initially dispatched to assist in the restoration effort at Sand Mountain Electric. They include Jeff Kelley, Phillip Norsworthy, Kirk Carter and John Paul of the Brewton headquarters, Southern Pine spokeswoman Melanie Harrison said.

Residents can bring donations for those affected by the tornadoes to St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Brewton. It will be a staging area for these supplies: bottled water, paper products, diapers, sanitary supplies, wipes, and foil-wrapped energy bars.

Sandy Zuiderhoek of East Escambia Red Cross said those hoping to help can also make a monetary donation. Checks can be made out to the Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund and dropped off at the Red Cross office in Brewton, or anyone can text “Red Cross” to 90999 to make a $10 donation.

Gov. Robert Bentley declared a state of emergency, and President Barack Obama promised federal assistance. Obama was scheduled to visit the damaged areas on Friday.

The Flomaton Fire Department will also be a drop-off location for a variety of supplies to be transported to tornado victims in Tuscaloosa. Personnel will be at the department on U.S. 31 South Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon. Trucks loaded with supplies will leave the station at noon and travel to Tuscaloosa for distribution.

Items suggested for donations include water, Gatorade, wipes, batteries and battery powered items (flashlights, radios, etc.), non-perishable food items such as crackers, cookies, etc.