Sewell hosts Selma, Dallas County disaster relief update
Published 10:00 am Friday, September 8, 2023
U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell (AL-07) hosted a disaster relief update for the January 12 tornado that devastated Selma and Dallas County on Wednesday.
Selma Mayor James Perkins Jr., Dallas County Probate Judge Jimmy Nunn, Selma Housing Authority (SHA) Resident Services Director Beverly Blackmon joined Sewell at the press conference.
U.S. Department of Agriculture State Director Nivory Gordon, Jr., Dr. Corey Wiggins, Delta Regional Authority federal co-chairman, Small Business Association’s (SBA) Michael Lampton and Karen Stafford of the Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA) also attended.
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Sewell, a Selma native, also took a driving tour around Selma to see the progress being made in damaged areas.
While Sewell said she’s pleased with the progress made after eight months, the area still has a way to go in fully recovering.
“The recovery process is a long process. And that process is definitely a marathon and not a sprint,” Sewell said. “It takes hard work and dedication, not just from federal partners, but from local, state and federal, as well as our non-profits and our faith-based organizations.”
Perkins said he appreciates Sewell and President Joe Biden for getting Selma and Dallas County disaster relief.
“You can never say thank you enough for the work done at the Federal level,” Perkins said. “I’ve seen a side of Congresswoman Terri Sewell I’ve never seen before. She’s not a fighter, she’s a warrior.”
Nunn said he’s grateful that Sewell always looks out for Selma and Dallas County.
“We thank Congresswoman Sewell being here for Selma and Dallas County,” Nunn said. “When one city in Dallas County, we all hurt.”
According to Blackmon, the SHA reached out to the residents in the affected areas of the tornado.
Gordon, a Wilcox County native, said the organization is always available to assist Selma.
“We’re willing to serve and do what we can to help Selma recover,” Gordon said.
Perkins, the first African-Mayor in Selma, agreed that the area will recover.
“The needs are great. But I do say also that we are resilient,” Perkins said. “That we are a strong people. We’ve been through some tough times. We’ll have some more tough times. But we will make it through,”
Sewell said the long-term goal is a bright future for Selma and Dallas County.
“We’re here to improve the quality of life for the citizens of Selma and Dallas County after this tremendous disaster,” Sewell said. “We’re Selma Strong and Dallas County determined.”