Governor Bentley Surveys Eagle Creek Tornado Damage
It’s been two days since a long track EF-2 tornado ripped though the small town of Eagle Creek in Tallapoosa County. Governor Robert Bentley, R-Alabama, surprised the community with a visit to survey the storm damage and meet with everyone affected. Despite the fact homes and trees are completely destroyed from Friday night’s storms, residents’ sprits are anything but damaged.
Governor Bentley met and shook hands with literally every volunteer, first responder and resident at the Eagle Creek Baptist Church, which is functioning as a command post for storm response. Soon there after, the Governor began walking through the path of the storm damage.
Bentley first met with the Sellers Family; their home only had two pieces left standing: the back porch and the mailbox, everything else destroyed.
Candice Seller had work gloves on and was sifting through debris from her parents’ home.
“[The tornado] literally blew everything here [front yard], into the road and out into the woods,” Candice Seller said showing the path of the damage. Her father, Ed Seller, talked with the Governor about how he and his wife escaped the storm. At the last minute, he said he and his wife left for his parents’ brick house just up the road.
“We actually got a map out and put a ruler on there, and according to the direction it looked like it was going to come straight through our house,” Seller said to Governor Bentley.
Bentley is no stranger to walking through storm damage, but he said March 2, 2012 brought back memories from last spring.
“The other night reminded me very much like the night before April 27th,” Bentley said.
March 2nd was the Seller family’s April 27th.
“It kind of hit us all over again in the daylight, how bad it is,” Candice Seller said. Sunday she was surprised to see the Governor’s face. “Its means a lot to have him visit, know that he cares to check on us and see if we need anything. We we're really blessed… really blessed.”
During his trip, Governor Bentley also reminded everyone of the reality behind severe weather in Alabama.
“The Lord does not give us the ability to foresee the future, and that's kinda good, but we just have to be prepared,” Bentley said.
The Governor said the best way Alabamians can be prepared is to, “Work on our individual safe rooms and our community safe rooms across the state.”
But no amount of preparation can prepare people for losing everything they have, but their lives.
“It’s your childhood and all of that, but its just things,” Candice Seller said. “It’s just things we can buy later or get more of, but I really don't know what I would have done if something would have happened to [my parents].”
While Alabama works to clean up its damage, Governor Bentley also said the state will also offer assistance this week to other states from Friday's storm and tornado damage.
More than 50-percent of Eagle Creek’s residents have been without power since Friday night, but Alabama Power was working to restore it.