EMA assesses Summerfield storm damage

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, February 19, 2008

The Selma Times-Journal

Assessment crews were on the ground as day one of the cleanup began Monday for storms that passed through Dallas County on Sunday, leaving 10 buildings destroyed and 18 damaged.

The Dallas County Emergency Management Agency was in Summerfield on Monday morning to assess the damage in the area. The National Weather Service in Birmingham confirmed an EF-2 tornado touched down in Dallas County. A tornado rated EF-2 has winds from 111 to 135 miles per hour.

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Pam Cook, director of the Dallas County EMA, said eight homes and two buildings were completely destroyed Sunday.

Six homes had major damage and 11 had minor damage, all in Summerfield, Cook said.

The area included county roads 16, 37, 39, and 279.

Cook sent the information in to the state EMA Monday afternoon. Agency officials will decide on petitioning Gov. Bob Riley to declare a state of emergency for Summerfield and Dallas County.

Declaring a state of emergency will mean that homeowners would be eligible for assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Cook said, which is especially important for homeowners without insurance.

The Selma Red Cross had seven families placed in the local Ramada on Monday. Director Jackie Phillips said the Red Cross is working with the Dallas County EMA to determine who else needs assistance with recovery and will provide those in need with food and shelter.

Phillips said so far three of the families are confirmed to not have insurance on their homes or possessions.

FEMA will be the resource for those families, if the governor declares a state of emergency.

The Alabama State Baptist Convention dispatched assessment teams from Chilton County on Monday afternoon to Summerfield, following up on emergency response efforts on Sunday.