Selma Mayor updates city’s tornado cleanup

Published 12:49 pm Friday, February 3, 2023

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Selma Mayor James Perkins Jr. gave an update on the city’s recovery from the tornado.

Perkins held a virtual press conference on Friday. Perkins and his wife, Cynthia Perkins, have both COVID-19.

Perkins explained the reason why it’s been slow to pick up debris in the streets of Selma, especially on Dallas Avenue.

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“The state of Alabama and ALDOT offered to do the cleanup free,” Perkins said. “I signed the agreement and sent it back to Governor Ivey’s office. The state asked FEMA if they would reimburse the state for the cleanup and FEMA said no.  FEMA said the state had no jurisdiction over local streets.

Perkins said that the federal, state and city personel have been talking to FEMA, but no resolution has been reached.

Perkins thanked Senators Katie Britt and Tommy Tuberville for working with Rep. Terri Sewell on a petition with the White House for 100% reimbursement.

Perkins said if that gets cleared, it will open the doors for the Queen City to get help cleaning the streets.

Perkins called it “cautious optimism,” as he urged Selma residents to keep the faith that things will work out in the end.

“I don’t have the answers right now, but we will get it done,” Perkins said. “It’s a slow process, we just need to be patient.”

Perkins thanked Dallas County EMA Director Toya Stiles and the countless volunteers who have assisted with the cleanup.