SIPSEY, AL (WBRC) - We have seen many pictures of the devastation from last week's storms and people helping other people, but there may be no better picture to express the hope of the surivivors in our state than this picture.
The picture is from Aaron Landers of Jasper, who wrote the following:
"Following the devastation of last weeks storms, my mother(Terry Dean); wife(Rebecca Landers); and my 3 young children (Taylor 10, Jamie 8, Erin 6) decided to deliver some food and what ever comfort they could offer to those affected. During this, my 6 year old daughter (Erin Landers) was photographed as she requested to pray with a survivor in Sipsey, Alabama. As the gentleman accepted the request, his eyes filled with tears. Upon seeing this photo myself, it really touched my heart; and I felt that it would touch many others."
The EF-4 tornado that struck Sipsey was on the ground for more than 100 miles last Wednesday, traveling from Pickens County in West Alabama through northern Tuscaloosa, Fayette, Walker, and Blount counties. It is blamed for 10 deaths and dozens of injuries.
Here are some of the other storm-related headlines from around Alabama on Tuesday:
Bentley: we will see that Alabama is rebuilt
Governor Robert Bentley praised the people of Alabama and challenged lawmakers to help storm victims and survivors during a speech Tuesday night in Montgomery. The governor spoke before a joint session of the Alabama Legislature where he promised he would not "let these people down" and challenged lawmakers to pass legislation to rebuild schools and aid financial recovery.
Lamar and Lauderdale counties added to federal disaster list
Governor Bentley has been informed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency that Lamar and Lauderdale counties have been designated for disaster assistance to households and businesses as part of Alabama's federal disaster declaration. With the addition of the two new counties, the total number of counties designated for Individual Assistance is 38. Counties previously designated are Autauga, Bibb, Blount, Calhoun, Cherokee Chilton, Choctaw, Colbert, Coosa, Cullman, DeKalb, Elmore, Etowah, Fayette, Franklin, Greene, Hale, Jackson, Jefferson, Lawrence, Limestone, Madison, Marengo, Marion, Marshall, Morgan, Pickens, Shelby, Sumter, St. Clair, Talladega, Tallapoosa, Tuscaloosa, Washington, Walker and Winston. Affected survivors and business owners in all designated counties should apply for assistance by calling FEMA's toll free registration number, 1-800-621-FEMA (3362).
Alabama workers who are out of jobs because of tornado damage are beginning to file for unemployment benefits. A spokeswoman for the state Department of Industrial Relations says 800 applications had been received through Monday afternoon from people whose jobs were affected by last week's tornadoes.
Legislature - schools
The Alabama House and Senate passed a resolution Tuesday promising the Legislature would make sure that all needed funds would be provided to rebuild schools. House speaker Mike Hubbard said schools were destroyed in at least six different school systems.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service has approved a temporary waiver that will allow people who receive food assistance to use their benefits to purchase hot foods in counties designated for disaster assistance. Officials announced Tuesday that the waiver is in effect immediately and continues through May 31, 2011.
Tuscaloosa Mayor makes updates on storm recovery
Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox said 771 people have been cleared from the missing persons list, but 240 are still missing. The number of fatalities for Tuscaloosa County is currently 40; 28 are city residents and 12 are County residents. The mayor also asked citizens to remove vehicles in working condition from heavily impacted areas to allow for debris removal.
Condi Rice, Tom Joyner in Birmingham
Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and syndicated radio talk show host Tom Joyner were in Birmingham Tuesday afternoon to assist storm recovery efforts. They joined city officials at Scott's School, one of the storm donation centers in Birmingham, to offer their support and assistance with storm cleanup. Legendary PGA golfer Tom Watson was also on hand to offer support in advance of the Region's Tradition golf tournament beginning later this week at Shoal Creek. See the entire press conference here:
Birmingham City Council begins new initiatives to help storm victims
The Birmingham City Council announced several upcoming initiatives to help those suffering from the severe storm damage, including a light furniture drive, a clothing drive for school children, and an "adopt-a-family" program.
Alabama Power initial goal met, another goal set
Alabama Power says the company hopes to reconnect 99.9% of customers who can receive power by midnight on Wednesday. CEO Charles McCrary said Tuesday 98% of customers who lost power last week were reconnected with almost 8,000 remaining.
Big name companies bring in relief to storm-damaged areas
Tuesday morning, the Tide "Loads of Hope" truck and a Duracell Power Relief trailer came to Tuscaloosa. Both are located at University Mall near Veteran's Memorial Park.
Hueytown baseball coach thankful his house caught fire
Hueytown High School baseball coach Rick Patterson is thankful his Pleasant Grove house caught on fire a few months ago... because if it hadn't, he or his family would have likely been at home last week when a tornado destroyed it and their neighborhood. Rick Karle reports...
Goshen church destroyed in tornado
Seventh Day Adventists Church on Highway 9 in Goshen, destroyed by an F4 tornado April 27, 2011. No one was injured. Dixon Hayes reports on the damage and the rebuilding efforts.
Businesses worry storm damage may hurt Mother's Day sales
Businesses in Cahaba Heights are concerned storm damage may hurt their business for Mother's Day. Homes in Cahaba Heights still have trees down and debris on the side of the road. Crews are working to restore service to the area. At Flowerbuds, co-owner Janet Jackson was shocked by the storm damage but she hopes it won't affect orders for Mother's Day.
Salvation Army needs your help
The Birmingham Salvation Army has turned a warehouse at 350 Industrial Drive in Homewood into a donation collection and distribution center for storm victims. Sarah Verser explains what the Salvation Army needs...
Trussville church helps in North Smithfield
Northpark Baptist Church from Trussville helps people in North Smithfield with their damaged homes... Beth Shelburne reports.
Rain pauses cleanup efforts in Pratt City
Katie Herrera reports from Cherry Avenue in north Birmingham where the rain forced people to pause their cleanup efforts...
Eoline storm survivors help each other
Sheldon Haygood reports on how the tornado last week is bringing the people in this small town in Bibb County closer together...
People of Hackleburg promise to rebuild
Steve Ohnesorge talks to people in Hackleburg who say they will rebuild despite losing 17 people and most of the town's homes and buildings to an EF-5 tornado last week...